Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 4489 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YI YM YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 08KABUL1064, FOREIGN MINISTER SPANTA ON PAKISTAN, IRAN, AND

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08KABUL1064.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KABUL1064 2008-04-29 12:12 2011-01-25 08:08 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kabul
VZCZCXRO0616
OO RUEHBW RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #1064/01 1201228
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291228Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3727
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001064 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA FOR A/S BOUCHER AND PMOON 
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/CDHA/DG 
NSC FOR JWOOD 
OSD FOR MSHIVERS 
CENTCOM FOR CG CJTF-82 AND POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL...





151710
2008-04-29
08KABUL1064
Embassy Kabul
CONFIDENTIAL
08KABUL1027
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001064 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR SCA FOR A/S BOUCHER AND PMOON 
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/CDHA/DG 
NSC FOR JWOOD 
OSD FOR MSHIVERS 
CENTCOM FOR CG CJTF-82 AND POLAD 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2018 
TAGS: PREL PTER ECON IR PK AF
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER SPANTA ON PAKISTAN, IRAN, AND 
PLANS FOR TRIP TO WASHINGTON 

REF: KABUL 1027 

Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 

Summary 
------- 

1. (C) Foreign Minister Spanta told the Ambassador on April 
22 that he would use his meetings in Islamabad the following 
day to underline Afghanistan's support for Pakistan's new 
government and explore opportunities for concrete projects 
(dealing especially with trade and economic cooperation) to 
strengthen cross-border ties. Spanta nevertheless expressed 
concern that the government must be seen as transitional and 
that Nawaz Sharif is likely to end up in power. Spanta said 
he is advocating close Afghan-Pak cooperation on 
counter-terrorism as well as reconciliation efforts. He 
expressed concern over Iranian meddling, including efforts to 
convoke Ambassador from surrounding countries to discuss U.S. 
long-term plans in Afghanistan. Spanta underlined his 
personal conviction that Iran is at least as dangerous as 
Pakistan, but defended his recent remarks downplaying 
evidence of Iranian support for the Taliban as reflecting the 
Afghan government's need to manage its western neighbor and 
avoid a second front. Spanta reiterated his intention to 
visit Washington as soon as possible. 

Pakistan: Support for Government; Worries about the Future 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 

2. (C) Spanta told the Ambassador his trip to Islamabad was 
meant to underline Afghan support for and intention to 
cooperate with the new government. Spanta acknowledged 
Pakistan had protested over Defense Minister Wardak's recent 
visit to Kashmir (which Wardak insisted was private), but he 
did not expect that issue to have a negative impact on his 
meetings in Islamabad. He planned to meet with Musharraf, PM 
Gilani, ForMin Qureshi, Lower House Speaker Fahmida Mirza, 
and leaders from the ANP and PPP, and if possible Pakistani 
Muslim League Leader Nawaz Sharif (trip readout septel). 
Spanta would be looking for opportunities to identify 
concrete projects to further cross-border cooperation, 
particularly in the area of economic cooperation, trade, and 
transit arrangements. Afghanistan will be doing everything 
possible to help the new government succeed, as having a 
civilian government is critical. Spanta nevertheless 
expressed concern that the current arrangement can only be 
seen as transitional, given that the PPP did not put forth 
its strongest person. In Spanta's view, this had been a 
great mistake as it might lead to Sharif (who has strong 
connections to Islamic groups) ending up in power. Spanta 
said he would be able to discuss his concerns frankly with 
the ANP, but would need to be very diplomatic in 
conversations with the PPP. 

3. (C) Spanta said that, while President Karzai might not 
take his advice, he is advocating close Afghan-Pakistan 
cooperation on counter-insurgency efforts and on 
reconciliation. He underlined the danger of any separate 
accommodation with al Qaeda, arguing that the consequence of 
separate action by Pakistan would be movement of the Taliban 
across the border to Afghanistan. This would be bad for 
Afghanistan, but also dangerous for Pakistan in that it would 
allow the terrorists and extremists to turn Afghanistan into 
a base against Pakistan. He said he wanted to deepen the 
dialogue on this an other issues and would be inviting 
Qureshi to Kabul for discussions within three months. He 
added that Kabul, Islamabad and Ankara are working on a date 
for the next meeting in the Istanbul-round of discussions at 
the presidential level. 

4. (C) The Ambassador said the U.S. supports deepened 
Afghan-Pakistan dialogue at all levels. He agreed that the 
transitional arrangement in Pakistan is less than ideal and 
understood concerns about Sharif, but added that there are 
signs that the ISI is pressuring those in the tribal areas to 
distance themselves from the Arabs. The best solution would 
be a combined counter-terrorism operation against al Qaeda, 
the Pakistan Taliban, and the Afghan Taliban. Closure of 
refuges used by terrorists in Pakistan should be a priority. 

KABUL 00001064 002 OF 002 


Some terrorists would come across the border, but here they 
can be defeated. 

Iran: Its Meddling and its Dialogue with Afghan Neighbors 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 

5. (C) Spanta commented on the new Iranian Ambassador's 
aggressive efforts to coordinate and lead the Iranian 
campaign to influence events in Afghanistan. He described 
Ambassador Fada Hossein Maleki as close to the National Front 
as well as to Karzai's Chief of Staff Daudzai (who served as 
Afghan Ambassador to Iran until 2007). Spanta claimed Maleki 
was meeting regularly with President Karzai, but was more 
concerned that he had organized meetings with his Russian, 
Chinese, Uzbek, Kazak, Tajik, Indian and Pakistani 
counterparts to discuss Afghanistan. According to reports 
Spanta had heard, Maleki had used the first meeting to 
articulate his view of long-term U.S. plans in Afghanistan. 
Spanta understood the Indian Ambassador had agreed to host 
the next meeting of the group. He appealed to the Ambassador 
to consider convoking a larger group to include the current 
participants plus the U.S. and Afghanistan -- an expansion 
of the six-plus-two concept. 

6. (C) The Ambassador noted that the U.S. would have 
difficulties participating in the group with Iran and noted 
that there are established mechanisms for broad-based 
dialogue that includes Iran -- such as the JCMB co-chaired by 
the Afghan government and UNAMA. He told Spanta he would 
share Spanta's idea for a broad regionally based dialogue 
with Washington for consideration before the ForMin's 
proposed visit to Washington later in the Spring. 

How to Manage Iran 
------------------ 

7. (C) The Ambassador then raised Spanta's recent statements 
downplaying Iranian actions (including that there is no 
evidence Iran is assisting the Taliban). He told Spanta that 
this statement had caught Washington's attention as, in fact, 
we all know that Iran is providing support to the Taliban. 
The Ambassador underlined that the U.S. appreciates the 
problems Afghanistan has with Iran and the need for good 
relations; the challenge is finding a way to be a good 
neighbor without exonerating them. 

8. (C) Spanta defended his statements, saying they reflected 
the position of the Afghan government and that he had been 
doing his duty. While there is indeed deep concern over 
Iranian influence, it is simply not possible for Afghanistan 
to open a second front with Iran, given the need to deal with 
Pakistan. Spanta observed that while he personally believes 
that Iran is more dangerous than Pakistan (I cannot accept 
the role of mullahs, especially the Iranian mullahs), he 
recognizes that he is obligated to work to reduce tensions 
with Iran. The Ambassador reiterated that being a good 
neighbor does not require ignoring or denying actions that 
are unacceptable. 

Trip to Washington 
------------------ 

9. (C) The ForMin reiterated his desire to travel to 
Washington as soon as possible to lay the groundwork for a 
possible visit by President Karzai and the Paris Conference. 
He also hoped to sign a joint statement affirming U.S. and 
Afghan commitment to the Strategic Partnership (text of 
agreed statement will be forwarded to SCA/A) while he was in 
Washington. He said he recognized the statement would be 
largely symbolic, but asserted that it would have positive 
resonance with the Afghan public. Spanta was working through 
the Afghan Embassy in Washington and aiming for a visit early 
in May. The Ambassador promised to relay the request. 
WOOD