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Viewing cable 05ABUDHABI2178, MBZ ON IRAQ, IRAN, PAKISTAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05ABUDHABI2178 2005-05-16 09:09 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET Embassy Abu Dhabi
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ABU DHABI 002178 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/16/2015 
TAGS: PREL MASS PHUM ELAB IR IZ XF SA PK FR TC
SUBJECT: MBZ ON IRAQ, IRAN, PAKISTAN 
 
REF: ABU DHABI 1008 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Michele J. Sison. 
For reasons 1.4 (a), (b), and (d). 
 
1.  (U) Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed,s weekly 
Sunday "VIP Majlis" provided an excellent opportunity for a 
visiting National Defense University delegation to observe 
first-hand the UAEG,s informal consultative process.  MbZ, 
brothers MinState Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan and Interior 
Minister Sheikh Saif, and Labor Minister al Ka'abi were 
joined by several dozen prominent Abu Dhabi officials and 
businessmen for the weekly gathering at Bateen Palace. 
 
NDU 
--- 
 
2.  (U) NDU President Lt. Gen. Dunn and National War College 
Deputy Commandant Ambassador Wahba briefed MbZ on several new 
NDU initiatives, including opportunities for UAE students in 
the Information Resources Management College program, which 
emphasizes threats, vulnerabilities, and risks in a 
net-centric environment.  Ambassador Sison praised the UAE's 
selection of NDU candidates, noting that several were serving 
in key positions today:  GHQ Armed Forces Deputy Chief of 
Staff MG Mohammed Hilal al-Kaabi, GHQ Director of General 
Procurement Obaid Al Ketbi, Deputy Commander UAE Air Force 
Brigadier Ali, and MbZ's aide Yousef al Otaiba had all 
benefited from NDU programs. 
 
Iraq 
------ 
 
3.  (C) Ambassador Sison noted that day's visit to Iraq by 
Secretary Rice, highlighting the Secretary's encouragement 
 
SIPDIS 
for continued momentum in the political process and her 
meetings with PM al-Jaafari and KDP leader Barzani.  MbZ 
voiced disdain for al-Jaafari, citing (again) his concerns 
over the Prime Minister's ties to Iran.  These concerns were 
aimed at Jaafari's Dawaa Party colleagues, as well.  While 
agreeing that it was important for Iraq's Sunni Arabs to be 
more involved in the political process and in drafting the 
constitution, MbZ complained that "there wasn't one 
worthwhile Sunni" on the scene.  He criticized new Sunni 
Defense Minister Dulaimi as being "in it for himself."  Nor 
did MbZ have anything good to say about former Iraqi Finance 
Minister Mahdi's nomination as one of two Vice Presidents, 
complaining that Mahdi "did not work for the people of Iraq." 
 Nonetheless, MbZ said he agreed with the USG's efforts to 
encourage the various Iraqi factions to work together.  The 
UAE would continue to help train Iraqi police forces at the 
UAE's police academy in Al Ain and provide reconstruction 
assistance.  It was important for the region as a whole that 
the U.S. and its allies "got it right" in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, 
and Egypt, he underscored.  (Note:  MbZ aide Yousef al Otaiba 
had a few days earlier shared with Ambassador concerns passed 
by former PM Allawi that Dulaimi was "devious," "bad news," 
"very close" to Iranian intelligence, and had been introduced 
to the Iranians by Chalabi.   Yousef had also noted the 
UAEG,s impression Mahdi had not always been a "team player" 
in the government of former PM Allawi.  End note.) 
 
Iran 
---- 
 
4.  (S) Turning to Iran, MbZ voiced certainty that the EU-3 
efforts with Iran would break down and that Iran would resume 
its nuclear activities ) if it had not already done so. 
Repeating concerns first voiced to us in February (reftel), 
MbZ appeared convinced that it was only a matter of time 
before Israel or the U.S. would strike Iranian nuclear 
facility targets.  U.S. installations in the Gulf could be 
targeted by Iran in the aftermath of such an action, he 
warned.  MbZ agreed with the USG,s tough line with Tehran 
and the Europeans.  A nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize 
the Gulf region and possibly allow terrorist access to WMD. 
MbZ asked Lt. Gen. Dunn whether it would be possible for 
&anyone8 to "take out" all locations of concern in Iran via 
air power; Lt. Gen. Dunn voiced doubt that this would be 
possible given the dispersed locations.  "Then it will take 
ground forces!" MbZ exclaimed.  Ambassador noted that the 
UAE's Director of Military Intelligence, BG Essa al Mazrouei, 
would pay counterpart visits this week to CENTCOM, J-2, DIA, 
and CIA for discussions on Iran and Iraq-related matters. 
MbZ said he looked forward to sharing "contingency planning" 
scenarios in future conversations. 
 
Pakistan 
-------- 
 
5.  (C) Ambassador asked about MbZ's visit the week before to 
Lahore to meet with Pakistani President Musharraf.  MbZ 
chuckled and asked why the USG "always" convinced the 
Pakistanis to delay news of the capture of senior Al Qaeda 
operatives such as Abu Faraj al Libbi.  MbZ went on to 
congratulate Washington for its decision to allow U.S. firms 
to bid for contracts to provide F-16s and other defense 
technology to Pakistan.  It was important to support 
Musharraf as he battled the terrorists, he emphasized.  While 
the Indians had and would continue to balk at the decision, 
the region needed Musharraf to stay strong.  There was no 
alternative leader in sight, MbZ opined.  Besides, he 
continued, the F-16 decision would not tip the military 
balance between India and Pakistan.  Even if it had, India's 
strength as a stable democracy would ensure that it would not 
ever be in as "risky" a situation as its neighbor.  MbZ then 
slapped his knee and said "you,ll never guess what Musharraf 
asked me...he asked me whether the UAE had received approval 
for the Predator!"  (Note:  the USG's inability to meet the 
UAE's request for an armed Predator remains a sore point for 
MbZ, although he has not directly raised the issue with us 
for some time.) 
 
Gyrocopter, GAWC 
---------------- 
 
6.  (SBU) MbZ also referred to his interest in exploring 
selling the UAE's "gyrocopter" (a helicopter-supported UAV 
co-developed with Austrian company Schiebel) to the U.S. Air 
Force, an idea he first floated during Gen. Moseley,s visit 
for the May 3 F-16 ceremony.  MbZ noted that his aide would 
pass detailed gyrocopter specifications to the Embassy this 
week.  (Note: We will be exploring this initiative with 
CENTAF and CENTCOM in relation to force protection aerial 
surveillance system needs at Al Dhafra airbase for the 380 th 
Air Expeditionary Wing.  End note.) 
 
7.  (C) Lt. Gen. Dunn complimented MbZ on the Gulf Air 
Warfare Center (GAWC), which he and the NDU group had toured 
that morning.  MbZ expressed satisfaction over the 
relationship between the UAE and U.S. Air Forces, but 
expressed disappointment that more GCC countries had not 
joined recent GAWC classes.  Ambassador noted the recent 
robust participation by Saudi Arabia in the GAWC's fourth 
class, which had included six Saudi F-15s and two young 
pilots who were also members of the Saudi royal family.  MbZ 
asked whether the two high-ranking Saudis had actually 
completed all requirements for graduation or had been "passed 
through."  Ambassador confirmed that they had completed all 
course requirements.   MbZ commented that "the real reason" 
the Saudis had turned out for the GAWC class had been "to see 
what the UAE was up to" with the F-16 Block 60 and other 
procurement successes.  Although Egypt and Jordan wished to 
join in the next GAWC class, MbZ added, they also wanted the 
UAE Air Force to pay fuel costs.  MbZ said he had asked both 
countries "to go talk to ADNOC," the state-owned Abu Dhabi 
National Oil Company. 
 
France 
------ 
 
8.  (U) MbZ noted that he would travel to Paris June 18-20 to 
meet with President Chirac, recalling that he had canceled 
his trip to France at the last minute in mid-January. 
 
Camel Jockeys 
------------- 
 
9.  (SBU) On the margins of the MbZ conversation, Ambassador 
thanked Interior Minister Sheikh Saif for his assistance the 
week before in allowing G/TIP visitor Feleke Assefa access to 
camel jockey rehabilitation and social support centers. 
Ambassador noted that a Tier 3 ranking remained a possibility 
despite the UAEG,s vigorous efforts since mid-March with 
UNICEF, IOM, and others.  A trafficking in persons 
reassessment would take place in August, she noted, and it 
was important for the UAE to continue the good work it was 
doing in solving the problem.  MbZ aide Yousef al Otaiba 
promised to forward a copy of the UAE-UNICEF TIP implementing 
agreement and budget. (Note: he has done so; we have 
forwarded the document electronically to G/TIP and NEA/ARPI. 
End note.) 
 
Labor and the FTA 
----------------- 
 
10.  (SBU) Labor Minister al Ka'abi noted he had received 
reports that the U.S. and UAE sides had moved closer on the 
text of the labor chapter of the FTA during the last day of 
negotiations.  He reiterated the UAEG,s concern that it 
receive some recognition of its unique demographic situation, 
as only 15 percent of the population held Emirati 
citizenship. 
SISON