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Viewing cable 07VILNIUS129, LITHUANIA SANGUINE ABOUT ICELANDIC PEACEKEEPER

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07VILNIUS129 2007-02-23 13:01 2011-01-13 05:05 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0129 0541339
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231339Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1031
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0053
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0106
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 0031
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK IMMEDIATE 0039
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB IMMEDIATE 0051
RUEHBS/NATO SUPPORT ACTIVITY BRUSSELS BE IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000129 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2017 
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL IC AF LH DA HR UK CA NATO
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA SANGUINE ABOUT ICELANDIC PEACEKEEPER 
ROLE CHANGE 
 
REF: STATE 18578 
 
Classified By: ADCM RDUNHAM FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
1. (C) We met with Ambassador-at-Large Gediminas Serksnys 
February 20 to encourage the GOL to demarche Iceland against 
the withdrawal of its mobile patrol team from Afghanistan at 
the end of April 2007.  Serksnys expressed only mild 
disappointment at the loss of the Mobile Liaison Observation 
Team (MLOT).  He pointed out that the Icelandic personnel 
would not be leaving Ghor, and neither would their equipment. 
 The team members will merely be "changing their uniforms" 
and will instead work on civil reconstruction projects. 
Their vehicles will reamain available for use by the PRT. 
 
2. (C) We asked whether the loss of the specialized driving 
skills of the Icelandic team would pose a problem for PRT 
Chaghcharan.  Ambassador Serksnys was hopeful that new 
Croatian drivers might fill this role.  Ambassador Serksnys 
said that the Croatian contribution to the Ghor PRT is 
planned to reach 200 people in 2007 and 300 by 2008. 
Serksnys said that he had spoken with military officers on 
the ground who said that Icelandic drivers are very good in 
the difficult terrain of the region, but that they also had 
restrictions that sometimes meant that those capabilities 
could not be put to their fullest use.  He also said that the 
Croats have experience in these types of driving conditions. 
 
3. (C) According to Serksnys, the GOL focus is clearly on 
reconstruction projects that require civilian resources.  He 
pointed out that much of the threat of instability right now 
in the region is posed by poverty, disgruntled poppy farmers, 
and a lack of training in the police force.  He was convinced 
that the new work the Icelandic team would be doing was at 
least as important as the patrolling it has done to date. 
Furthermore, Serksnys estimated overall contributions from 
Iceland would reach $700,000 per year, about half the sum 
Lithuania itself provides. 
 
4. (SBU) On a separate note, Serksnys told us he was happy 
with the announcement that the EU would be sending police 
officers to help train in the provinces.  Serksnys said 
police training is a critical area on which to focus.  In his 
general observation police officers in Afghanistan have low 
education levels and the only training they recevie is in 
marching.  Lithuania has already provided some training in 
forensic science and vehicle security checks.  The GOL is 
currently seeking the resources to be able to provide 
training and equipment for a ballistic forensic science 
center in the future. 
 
CLOUD