jueves, 2 de diciembre de 2010

Estados Unidos cuestiona la labor de la SEDENA, aplaude a la SEMAR

Estados Unidos no cree que la SEDENA pueda combatir eficazmente al narco, pero si respeta la labor que ha venido haciendo la Marina, a la que elogia tras la operación que condujo a la captura y muerte de Arturo Beltrán Leyva. En varios cables publicados por Wikileaks se informa que una semana antes del asesinato de Beltrán Leyva, la embajada estadounidense envió información detallada sobre su ubicación del capo.

Un cable refiere que:

"The SEMAR unit has been trained extensively by NORTHCOM over the past several years a SEMAR" (...) SEMAR is well-trained, well-equipped, and has shown itself capable of responding quickly to actionable intelligence. Its success puts the Army (SEDENA) in the difficult position of explaining why it has been reluctant to act on good intelligence and conduct operations against high-level targets. The U.S. interagency originally provided the information to SEDENA, whose refusal to move quickly reflected a risk aversion that cost the institution a major counternarcotics victory. SEDENA did provide backup to SEMAR during the firefight with ABL forces, but can take little credit for the operation. Public Security Secretary (SSP) Genaro Garcia Luna can also be counted as a net loser in the Mexican interagency following the ABL operation. SSP considers high-level Beltran Leyva targets to be its responsibility, and Garcia Luna has already said privately that the operation should have been his".

Para Estados Unidos (y para la mayoría de los mexicanos) García Luna es un perdedor! Pero en otro cable Estados Unidos apunta que "The command change in Juarez has been seen by political classes and the public as a Presidential repudiation of SEDENA. When SEDENA joins you at the DBWG, it will be an agency smarting from the very public statement of a lack of confidence in its performance record in Juarez (...) Below the surface of military professionalism, there is also considerable tension between SEDENA and SEMAR. SEMAR succeeded in the take down of Arturo Beltran Leyva, as well as with other major targets. Aside from the perceived failure of its mission in Juarez, SEDENA has come to be seen slow and risk averse even where it should succeed: the mission to capture HVTs. The risk is that the more SEDENA is criticized, the more risk averse it will become. The challenge you face in the DBWG is to convince them that modernization and not withdrawal are the way forward, and that transparency and accountability are fundamental to modernization. There is no alternative in today's world of information technology".

El mismo cable refiere a los numerosos abusos y violaciones a los derechos humanos cometidos por los militares, Estados Unidos afirma que la SEDENA no tiene autoridad para realizar arrestos y es incapaz de procesar la información y las pruebas para su uso en casos judiciales. Estados Unidos tambien se compromete actuar cuidadosamente en materia de derechos humanos en el DBWG. Las presentaciones del lado de EE.UU. sobre cómo los derechos humanos desempeñan en nuestra conducta de la política militar y de seguridad será constructivo.

Y esto porque "Los militares no estaban preparados para patrullar las calles o imponer la ley. No tienen la autoridad para recoger pruebas y presentarlas ante la judicatura. Resultado: las detenciones se disparan pero las acusaciones se mantienen invariables y tanto los militares como ciudadanos están cada vez más frustrados", dice el cable donde también se hace referencia a Amnistía Internacional que en diciembre apuntó que las denuncias a la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos contra el ejército pasó de 367 en 2007 a más de 2000 a partir de junio del 2008 a 2009.

"It has taken a serious beating on human rights issues from international and domestic human rights organizations, who argue with considerable basis, in fact that the military is ill-equipped for a domestic policing role. While SEDENA has moved to address human rights criticisms, its efforts are mechanistic and wrapped in a message that often transmits defensiveness about bringing a hermetically sealed military culture into the twenty-first century. The military justice system (fuero militar) is used not only for a legitimate prosecutorial function, but also to preserve the military's institutional independence. Even the Mexican Supreme Court will not claim civilian jurisdiction over crimes involving the military, regardless of whether a military mission is involved. Fortunately, the Mexican military is under increasing pressure to change on a number of fronts. A recent Inter-American Human Rights Court ruling found Article 57 of Mexico's code of military justice, which effectively allows the military to keep all violators within its own justice system, violate Mexico's constitution and mandated improvements in the way cases involving alleged human rights abuses by the military are handled".

En un apartado subtitulado "Militares clave de Modernización", Estados Unidos dice que gracias a su ayuda, México "ha perfeccionado su estrategia de lucha contra la delincuencia que incluye la inauguración de un nuevo comando de la Policía Federal y centro de inteligencia, el establecimiento de mecanismos más fuertes de investigación para conocer los antecedentes de funcionarios de seguridad, la construcción de bases de datos de intercambio de información para proporcionar datos en la lucha contra el narco a varios elementos federales, estatales y locales".

"These steps reflect the GOM's willingness to respond to public pressure and to focus on building strong, civilian law enforcement institutions that are necessary for sustained success against organized crime in Mexico. Indeed, Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna has sought to raise the standards of his Federal Police so it is capable of gradually replacing the military's role in public security through improved hiring, training, and vetting practices. With new authorities granted under federal police reform legislation passed last year, including a broadened wire-tapping mandate, the SSP is well-placed to significantly expand its investigative and intelligence-collection capabilities. The GOM is exploring new ways to bring local and state police up to standards to support the anti-crime fight. Federal judicial reform has been slower in coming, but the Attorney General's Office (PGR) is looking to modernize as an institution. For example, PGR created with USG assistance the Constanza Project (Justicia Para Todos), a $200 million dollar initiative designed to transform PGR's culture, in part by promoting transparency, training attorneys to build stronger cases, and digitizing files in order to incorporate a paperless system less susceptible to corruption".

Pero el proyecto Constanza que incluye $200 millones para transformar la cultura de la PGR no es todo, también se afirma que la asistencia del gobierno de Estados Unidos ha sido fundamental para estos esfuerzos, y buscan "ayudar" a México a construir instituciones sin fisuras en las operaciones, las investigaciones, la inteligencia, los procesamientos y condenas. Y que México también se ha comprometido a estudiar un modelo de grupo de tareas de inteligencia y operaciones conjuntas, el CISEN se ha encargado de supervisar estos esfuerzos. Pretenden apoyar el desarrollo institucional de la Policía Federal, la capacidad de formación y la aplicación rápida de la reforma judicial. Rematando que gran parte de los esfuerzos incluyen el trabajo a nivel estatal.

México ruega ayuda a Estados Unidos

Los últimos informes de Wikileaks respecto a México, reflejan que algunos politiquillos y funcionarios de la Secretaría de Gobernación o de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), aprovechan cualquier reunión con autoridades de Estados Unidos para pedirles ayuda tecnológica y de formación. Tal es el caso del ex subsecretario de la Secretaría de Gobernación, Gerónimo Gutiérrez, quien fue muy insistente en eso de que Estados Unidos mande más ayuda (al parecer no es suficiente con la Iniciativa Mérida), como se demuestra en un cable publicado en octubre de 2009, donde la Embajada informa de una reunión de las autoridades mexicanas con altos funcionarios de la fiscalía general estadounidense.

ID: 228419

Date: 2009-10-05 20:26:00
Origin: 09MEXICO2882
Source: Embassy Mexico
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Destination: INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 CPR-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DOEE-00 PERC-00 DS-00 OIGO-00 FBIE-00 VCI-00 H-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01 L-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00 VCIE-00
DCP-00 NSAE-00 ISN-00 OMB-00 NIMA-00 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 P-00 ISNE-00 FMPC-00 SP-00 SSO-00 SS-00
NCTC-00 ASDS-00 IIP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-00
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 FA-00 SWCI-00 PESU-00 SANA-00
O 052026Z OCT 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L MEXICO 002882
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/04/2019

Classified By: NAS Director Keith Mines, reasons 1.5 (b) (d)

1. (C) Summary: At a dinner hosted by PGR for a visiting DOJ delegation, National Security Coordinator Tello Peon and Undersecretary for Governance Gutierrez Fernandez told the delegation they would like to explore seriously focusing our joint efforts on two or three key cities to reverse the current wave of violence and instability and show success in the fight against the DTOs in the next 18 months. They suggested starting in Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, and one other city with a joint planning cell to review what resources we could collectively bring to bear. They believe the symbolism of turning several of the most violent cities would be potent, sending a signal to the rest of the country that the fight against organized crime can be won, and combating the current sense of impotence felt by many Mexicans. They believe it would also go a long way toward stitching up the country,s damaged international reputation. End Summary.

2. (U) Acting Attorney General Alcantara hosted a dinner for Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer September 21 in Mexico City. Other attendees included:

National Security System Coordinator Jorge Tello Peon
Undersecretary for Governance (SEGOB) Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez
PGR DAG (SIEDO) Marisela Morales
PGR DAG Victor Emilio Corzo Cabanas
PGR Director for Analysis and Strategic Information Oscar
Rocha Dobrowski

Deputy Assistant AG Bruce Swartz
Deputy Assistant AG for Criminal Division Kenneth Blanco
Special Assistant to the AG Paul Rosen
DOJ Attache Tony Garcia
NAS Director Keith Mines

--------------------------------------------- -----------

3. (C) Alcantara opened the meeting with two requests from Oscar Rocha. First, he said PGR would like to develop a more general exchange of intelligence information and capacity, not the case-by-case exchange we now have. Second, they would like for us to provide a full exchange of technology for use in intelligence gathering, not just the loan of equipment for specific cases, but the transfer of the know-how and training as well. Morales added that the FBI is helping to create a cyber-unit in Mexico but it would be beneficial if it were expanded and replicated more broadly. The SSP, she said, already has a cyber-unit but the real mandate rests with PGR-SIEDO. The U.S. side offered that there is great capacity in CCIPS in the Criminal Division and they would be happy to find ways to offer training and capacity building to their Mexican counterparts. We would be pleased, Breuer said, in the effort to press High Value Targets, to get our Mexican counterparts to the point where they can do these things themselves. It will take the development of strong trust through proper vetting and good training but it would be excellent to get to the point where there is no longer impunity for a Chapo Guzman because his operating space has been eliminated.

4. (C) Rocha then spoke of the technological leap about to take place in the coming years in the intelligence field. He cited the target-finding equipment used by the USMS with Mexican counterparts but asked if it would be possible to acquire not only such equipment for GOM officials, but also the training and full technology transfer that would go with it. He suggested we work with vetted units first to provide such equipment and training, and then move it out more broadly, both to PGR and CISEN. The U.S. side suggested getting together in the appropriate working group to see what could be done. Rocha reiterated that his intent would be to develop indigenous to the PGR all the capacity they currently have only in conjunction with the USMS.


5. (C) Gutierrez Fernandez then turned to the Merida Initiative, saying that in retrospect he and other GOM
officials realize that not enough strategic thought went into Merida in the early phase. There was too much emphasis in the initial planning on equipment, which they now know is slow to arrive and even slower to be of direct utility in the fight against the DTOs. Of more immediate importance is building institutions that can effectively use the equipment. He was careful to point out that all the equipment is needed and will be put to good use, but wishes that there had been a more direct focus on institution building, and supported the current shift in Merida focus to capacity building and creating more effective institutions.


6. (C) Gutierrez went on to say, however, that he now realizes there is not even time for the institution building to take hold in the remaining years of the Calderon administration. "We have 18 months," he said, "and if we do not produce a tangible success that is recognizable to the Mexican people, it will be difficult to sustain the confrontation into the next administration." He lamented the pervasive, debilitating fear that is so much a part of contemporary Mexican society, where even people in the Yucatan, with "European levels of security" are afraid because of the instability in a few distant cities. He expressed a real concern with "losing" certain regions. It is damaging Mexico's international reputation, hurting foreign investment, and leading to a sense of government impotence, Gutierrez said.


7. (C) Gutierrez believes what is needed is a clear roadmap for the remaining years of security cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico under President Calderon that targets a few joint projects in a few cities, rather than doing a little of everything. Tello Peon agreed, suggesting that there is not time for pilot projects, and certainly not time to work in a few relatively safe cities such as Nuevo Laredo as has been suggested, in order to develop the experience to take on the real challenges.

8. (C) Instead, he believes, we need to confront the cities with the largest insecurity and fix them. If we could turn around Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and one other city such as Culiacan, it would solve 60% of the violence, and send a signal to the Mexican people that the war can be won. Politically, he and Gutierrez said, Mexico must succeed in Juarez because Calderon has staked so much of his reputation there, with a major show of force that, to date, has not panned out. Even if it is not completely solved by the time Calderon leaves office, if they can get things moving in the right direction, setting the conditions for ultimate success, it will be enough. There was a brief &chicken and egg discussion, with one side suggesting that well-placed and effective federal forces could push back the DTOs sufficiently for the state and local forces to function, while others believed that well-functioning state and local forces will be a precondition for the federal forces to produce stability.


9. (C) Gutierrez thought that to start we need a good joint assessment of organized criminal groups that makes explicit their vulnerabilities. We have, he said, five things to put into the fight: resources, training, joint operations, technology, and cooperation, and we need to mobilize effectively all of them. He especially mentioned the need to synchronize our joint efforts, citing the recent show of force the U.S. promised on our side of the border that could not be matched by anything on the Mexican side, leaving it hollow. Tello Peon suggested we form a planning cell, a few experts on each side, who could focus on a few programs in a few places for the next 2 years.

10. (C) In addition to the intelligence and operational cooperation that would be at the heart of the new approach, Gutierrez and Tello Peon mentioned the importance of cultural and political factors. Politically, Mexico may have a federal system, Gutierrez said, but historically it has been more centralized like Colombia or France. The federal government, however, no longer has the ability to manage the system from top to bottom. He suggested it would be necessary for success to break through the impasse produced by Mexico,s currently dysfunctional federal system and ensure programs can be synchronized with the states. Tello Peon also said there will be a need to work on the cultural factors required to produce a &culture of lawfulness8 that would mobilize the societal support necessary for success. Culture and politics will be very complex, he said, but can be made to work. A clearly articulated and strong doctrine will help get people behind the strategy.

11. (C) Tello Peon ended the discussion by saying he arrived at the dinner somewhat fatigued but would leave energized. He thought it was an excellent mix of people and welcomed the honest exchange of new ideas. Mexico, he summarized, is committed to staying the course, which is sustainable with a few clear successes.

12. (C) Comment: We will follow up with Tello Peon and Gutierrez in the coming weeks to see how committed the GOM is to the strategy of selecting a few key cities and working to turn security. If it is their strategy and they plan to execute it, we should get behind it, using the new strategic framework to build a regional program to take on the biggest challenges in key border cities. A considerable amount could be done with existing funding and a marginal increase in staffing. We would use the remainder of the calendar year for planning, and have a new series of programs ready to roll out in the new year.

Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap/


lunes, 29 de noviembre de 2010

México en las filtraciones de Wikileaks

Como sabrán el director del diario español "El País" aseguró que los próximos días se dará a conocer las filtraciones relacionadas con Mexico, en dónde se destapará aquello que todos conocemos y padecemos: la guerra contra el narcotráfico. Mientras los dejo con un cable sobre la preparación de la visita del coordinador antiterrorista a Emiratos Árabes Unidos. Justo como en las películas "The Kingdom" y "Syriana" donde Estados Unidos y sus aliados árabes-petroleros libran una lucha contra el terrorismo.

Monday, 10 April 2006, 14:23

EO 12958 DECL: 04/09/2016


Classified By: Ambassador Michele J. Sison, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S) Summary. Embassy Abu Dhabi looks forward to welcoming you to the UAE on April 23. In the aftermath of the controversy of the Dubai Ports World acquisition of P&O, your assurances to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ), your host for the visit, that the USG values the UAE as an ally and friend will be well received. While you should commend the UAE for its assistance and cooperation, you should take advantage of your luncheon with MbZ and his brother, State Security Director Sheikh Hazza, to push the UAE on several areas of interest to the USG: counterterrorism, counter terror finance, Iran, Hamas, Iraq, and ideological extremism (each is covered in the scenesetter). The UAE remains a committed partner in the global war on terror, but it continues to take an ad hoc approach to countering terrorism that "solves" the problem for the UAE locally, but fails to contribute on a transnational basis. In January, the U.S. and the UAE held the first meeting of the Joint Terrorist Finance Coordinating Committee (JTFCC), but the discussions were not as detailed or as robust as the U.S. delegation anticipated. Treasury U/S Levey will return to the UAE to hold a second meeting April 30 that will focus on cash couriers and charities.

2. (S) Although the UAE regards Iran as one of its most serious threats to national security, UAE officials are reluctant to take actions that could anger their neighbor and compromise their extensive trading relationship. At the same time, we are seeing more of a willingness on the part of the UAE to support USG initiatives without the full approval of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As tensions escalate between Iran and the international community, the UAE is growing increasingly nervous. The UAE leadership--which has told us they consider Hamas a terrorist organization--plans to uphold its previous commitments of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. The UAE has taken an active role in encouraging Sunni participation in the Iraqi political process and it continues to condemn the sectarian violence that is preventing stabilization of the country. In the face of growing ideological extremism in the Gulf, the UAE leadership is politically determined not to allow Islamist extremists to gain a foothold on UAE soil. End Summary.

Counterterrorism Efforts

3. (S) The UAE is concerned about the terrorist threat to the UAE, but lacks a comprehensive implementation strategy for reducing its vulnerability (ref A). The UAE considers homeland security one of its top priorities, but rather than prioritizing national security projects, its efforts have focused on contracting risk assessments, forming committees, and procuring equipment. The UAE has also aggressively tried to prevent the radicalization of UAE nationals and Arab/South Asian expatriates. UAE officials publicly and strongly condemn extremism and terrorist attacks, anti-extremism has been the focus of government-approved Friday sermons in the mosques, and the UAE ministry of Education has modernized the Islamic studies curriculum in its schools.

4. (S) The UAEG government reacts quickly when presented with evidence of a terrorist presence inside the UAE, but does not approach the problem from a transnational manner. The UAE's immediate response when terrorists pose a risk is to deport them. UAE agencies do not investigate fully to see how far the problem goes or whether there is an international network involved. Although the U.S./UAE counterterrorism cooperation is strong (with the UAE working closely with the USG on specific cases), Emiratis do not consistently share lead information found in the possession of individuals in their custody with each other or with the U.S. Government. These tactics limit law enforcement and intelligence services' ability to use intelligence to disrupt extremist cells and planned attacks. The UAE's insistence on deportation as a solution does not protect the country long-term or truly address the nature and scope of the problem. The UAEG must be willing to take action against Emirati nationals, it must investigate fully, and it must share information with other Gulf countries and with the USG.

5. (S) The only way to generate significant change in the UAE on the issue of counterterrorism is to convince the senior leadership that it needs to continue to display political will and commitment in tackling the terror challenge with a transnational approach. MbZ is the person most able to elicit this type of change. Embassy recommends you have a frank and forthright discussion during your meeting with MbZ and his younger brother, Hazza, to encourage this type of change. Although you should commend them for the UAE's CT efforts and cooperation, you should also encourage them to be personally involved in developing a more effective and fully cooperative counterterrorism posture.

Counterterrorism Finance

6. (S) The UAE has made significant strides in regulating the financial sector against money laundering and terrorist financing (ref B). Although the UAE now has a strong legal framework in place, it must turn its efforts to enforcement. It is imperative that UAE authorities investigate and prosecute violators of terror finance/anti-money laundering, cash courier, and charity laws and regulations. To date, investigation and prosecution has been weak. In an effort to increase U.S. and UAE cooperation on terrorist financing, the first meeting of the U.S/UAE Joint Terrorist Finance Coordinating Committee (JTFCC) was held in Abu Dhabi on January 24, 2005 (ref C). The UAE team had representatives from the Central Bank, State Security, Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Justice. However, no one participated from Dubai. In order for the JTFCC to be an effective committee, Dubai's Police, State Security, Customs, and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charities must participate. Embassy is coordinating a second meeting April 30 that will focus on cash couriers and charity regulations.


7. (S/NF) UAE leaders are very concerned about escalating tensions between Iran and the international community. The UAE feels vulnerable--as evidenced by the fact that its leaders frequently note that Iran is "very near" the UAE. Commercial ties between Dubai and Iran are significant (Dubai is Iran's largest non-oil trading partner), and as a result the UAEG walks a fine line between maintaining and encouraging this trade and working to prevent suspected Iranian proliferation activities. Although the UAEG is worried about Iran's nuclear ambitions, its short-term policy decisions regarding Iran center on not provoking its neighbor. The USG has approached the UAEG four times since January, asking it to interdict and inspect cargo suspected of going to Iran's nuclear and/or missile programs. None of those instances have resulted in a successful interdiction. In the first two instances UAE officials simply refused to take action (refs F and G). The Director of Dubai's State Security Organization explained during the 11 February U.S./UAE Counterproliferation Task Force meeting that the decision to not inspect the containers had been a political decision based on the UAE's concern that Iran might retaliate (ref H). In the two later instances (ref K), ships that had been scheduled to arrive in Dubai went directly to Bandar Abbas.

8. (S) In recent meetings with senior USG officials, MbZ has expressed clear support for U.S. initiatives against Iran. MbZ and UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid agreed with Secretary Rice February 23 about the need to counter Iran's growing influence in the region and its nuclear ambitions, although they specified that any sanctions should target the key Iranian leadership, not the Iranian people (ref I). MbZ told A/S Welch March 28 that he did not think it was necessary to wait for all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to agree before proceeding with any plans against Iran (ref E). "Whoever is interested in getting on board ship should be encouraged," he said. "I don't think it's logical or smart to wait for everyone to get involved so we can sail. ... If another GCC member believes it's not right, that's his choice." In the Arab region, MbZ specifically identified Bahrain and Jordan as two countries that also view Iran as a threat and that are "capable to work with us." He told A/S Welch that the UAE would prepare a paper responding to USG concerns about Iran and mechanisms for addressing the challenge posed by Iran. In a March 27 meeting with CENTCOM Commander General Abizaid, MbZ spoke about the Iranian threat with a greater sense of urgency. He was strongly in favor of taking action against Iran and its president sooner rather than later. "I believe this guy is going to take us to war. ... It's a matter of time," MbZ warned, adding that action against Iran and President Ahmedinejad should be taken this year or next year. MbZ said he was unwilling to wait much longer. "Personally, I cannot risk it with a guy like Ahmedinejad. He is young and aggressive."

9. (S/NF) SSD Director Hazza told A/S Welch March 29 that the Ayatollah Ali Khameini had once issued a fatwa prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons by Iran, but noted that this should not be considered a guarantee. Hazza assessed that Iran is also a threat due to its ties to international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, as well as their financial support to Hamas. He added that the relationship between Iran and Syria, and their links to Hizballah, was also of concern, as was Iran's attempts to expand its influence in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. MbZ also expressed to A/S Welch March 28 the concern that Hizballah was supporting Hamas. During your meeting, you should explain the graduated approach to addressing Iran in the United Nations Security Council and encourage the UAE to isolate Iran--regardless of potential economic backlash. You should also explain the importance of the UAE working closely with the USG on interdiction requests. This meeting will be a good follow-on to the discussion U/S Joseph had with Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan (AbZ) on April 8, where Joseph outlined the USG's policy priorities for Iran (septel). (Note: While AbZ, like MbZ, expressed support for U.S. initiatives against Iran, he stated that the USG should come to the UAE as a "very last resort. ... If you can solve something without involving the UAE, please do so." End Note.)

Palestinian Territories/Hamas

10. (S) UAE leaders have told us that they consider Hamas a terrorist organization and that they would not fund Hamas unless they denounce violence (refs D and E). However, after Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal visited Abu Dhabi on March 22 and met with UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammed al-Sha'ali, Meshaal publicly claimed that the UAEG had pledged to continue to provide financial assistance to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (ref J). MbZ told A/S Welch March 28 that the UAEG allowed Meshaal to come, but that "officially, we don't recognize Khaled Meshaal." MbZ said that once a new Palestinian Prime Minister is selected, UAEG officials will travel to the Palestinian territories to ascertain that UAEG assistance is "going to the right people." UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid sounded a note of optimism when he told Secretary Rice February 23 that Hamas, "with some pressure," would understand the need to respect the will of the international community.

11. (S) The UAE has historically provided significant financial assistance to the Palestinian people. Typically, the UAE sends aid to the Palestinian territories through charity organizations, or by projectized assistance; but the UAEG has also provided financial assistance directly to the Palestinian Authority, most recently $20 million in March 2006 to Mahmoud Abbas for salaries. In the wake of the Hamas electoral victory, UAE leaders told us they intend to honor their previous commitments of humanitarian assistance (including the $100 million Sheikh Khalifa housing complex that was announced last year).

12. (S/NF) In his meeting with A/S Welch March 29, SSD Director Hazza assessed that there was both a positive and a negative side to the Hamas election win. On the negative side, he cited Hamas' position with regard to Israel, and their violent agenda. On the positive side, Hazza noted the fact that Hamas was now in power and was accountable to the international community. He spoke to A/S Welch of the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Hazza also asked A/S Welch how the USG would react to those countries that did support the Hamas government, and whether they would run afoul of U.S. laws restricting support to terrorist organizations. A/S Welch replied that that would be a problem, emphasizing that no money should go to the government unless Hamas renounced violence and accepted Israel. A/S Welch also told Hazza that it was not the responsibility of the U.S. or other Arab countries to pay the salaries of the new Hamas government, underscoring the need for Hamas to show accountability. MbZ told A/S Welch that Hamas benefited from "official and private contributions" from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. MbZ said it was "easy to take $1 million in a suitcase" to Lebanon, alluding to cash couriers.


13. (S/NF) A partner in the war on terror, the UAE continues to provide U.S. forces access, overflight clearances, and other critical logistical assistance to Operation Iraqi Freedom (and Operation Enduring Freedom). The UAE has also been a helpful supporter of Iraq's burgeoning political process. It has worked with Iraqi political and religious figures to encourage greater Sunni integration, and it has consulted with Ambassador Khalilzad on a number of occasions about the need to stem sectarianism in Iraq. The UAE has publicly condemned acts of sectarian and terrorist violence in Iraq, most recently, the February 22 bombing of the al-Askariya Shrine. MbZ and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid expressed their concerns about Iran's interference in Iraq's internal affairs to Secretary Rice during her visit to Abu Dhabi February 23. MbZ further told General Abizaid that discontent with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'afari was creating volunteers for al-Qaida. He pledged the UAE's support to the fight against al-Qaida. In his meeting with A/S Welch, MbZ advocated using the Arabic language media to tell Iraqis the truth about how many of their own people are dying at the hands of the insurgents. If Iraqis were to see the figures, he opined, they would conclude that support of the insurgency is "not worth it."

Ideological Extremism

14. (S) MbZ and his brothers continue to be outspoken on the issue of Muslim extremists and the threat they pose to the region. MbZ underscored for A/S Welch the UAE's preferred approach of denying extremists a foothold rather than allowing them to play a role in the political process. Although he warns of the dangers of free elections in countries with a well-organized Muslim Brotherhood presence, he tells USG guests that the UAE will go ahead with elections. The Emirati leadership has told us that they will not allow Islamists to participate in elections. (Note: The UAE has announced that half of the members of the Federal National Council would be elected while half would continue to be appointed by the rulers of the various emirates. Despite this announcement, the UAE still lags behind other Gulf states in terms of democratization. End Note.) MbZ also sees extremist ideology threatening the educational system, where he and his brothers are spending considerable resources to modernize the curriculum and the teaching corps. SISON