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Cable reference id: #09TOKYO2391
“All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.” — “Refus Global“, Paul-Émile Borduas

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Reference id aka Wikileaks id #229937  ? 
SubjectAmbassador's Meeting With Afghan Ambassador
OriginEmbassy Tokyo (Japan)
Cable timeFri, 16 Oct 2009 07:07 UTC
Referenced by09TOKYO2461, 09TOKYO2590
Extras? Comments
Hide header C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 002391 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2019 TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PREL [External Political Relations], AF [Afghanistan], JA [Japan; Okinawa; Ryukyu Islands] SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH AFGHAN AMBASSADOR REF: TOKYO 2327 Classified By: Ambassador John V. Roos per reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 1. (C) Summary: Afghan Ambassador to Japan Eklil Ahmad Hakimi met October 15 with the Ambassador and DCM to discuss cooperation in dealing with the GOJ, the Indian Ocean Refueling mission, future GOJ assistance to Afghanistan, Japanese Foreign Minister Okada's recent visit to Kabul, and a Diet-led Track II International Conference on Afghanistan. End Summary ----------------- Refueling Mission ----------------- ¶2. (C) Making his initial call on the Ambassador and DCM, Hakimi, who arrived in Japan as Ambassador in May, said that his instructions from Kabul at the outset of his assignment were to consult closely with the United States on major issues. In that spirit of close consultation, he had two issues he wished to discuss: Japan's Indian Ocean refueling mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and a November Diet member-sponsored Track II conference on Afghanistan slated to be held in Tokyo. ¶3. (C) Hakimi noted that the GOA had been consulting closely with Embassy Kabul regarding the future of Japan's refueling mission, which the newly-installed Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government has promised to end when the mission's authority expires in January 2010. Hakimi said that during his meeting with Foreign Minister Okada in New York, Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta had urged the GOJ to extend the refueling mission. Hakami, in his own meetings with Okada had also sought extension of the mission. The GOA has stressed the need to maintain coalition unity in the fight against terrorism and the insurgency, he said. In contrast, Neither President Karzai nor FM Spanta had raised refueling with Okada during the latter's October 11 visit to Kabul, owing, inter alia, to the need to consult with the United States. -------------------------------- Vocational Training Alternative? -------------------------------- ¶4. (C) Hakimi confirmed media reports that FM Okada had raised with President Karzai his proposal to provide vocational assistance to former lower-echelon Taliban insurgents and that such a program might be the crux of the GOJ's new contribution to Afghanistan should the refueling mission be terminated. In an interview published by Kyodo news agency October 13, Hakami welcomed the prospect of vocational training while adding that a jobs program was needed as well. In the meeting with the Ambassador and DCM, he was less enthusiastic about the GOJ proposal. He noted that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had already implemented nine retraining programs. The new wrinkle in FM Okada's proposal was retraining in the context of a Disarmament, Decommissioning and Reconciliation (DDR) program that would emphasis reintegration of former insurgents (reftel). ¶5. (C) Reiterating that there were already nine JICA retraining programs underway, Hakami stressed that further retraining efforts would be more valuable in the context of a comprehensive approach including assessment of putative jobs and their future potential. Training without a jobs program was insufficient. A comprehensive package, including training, employment opportunities, and job security, was essential for any program to be meaningful. It was essential that there be jobs at the conclusion of any training, he stressed. Hakimi further suggested that some assistance to retraining recipients could be in the form of loans or micro-credit. A loan process would invest participants in the program and send a signal that reintegrated insurgents were valued and trusted as Afghan citizens, he said. ¶6. (C) New assistance programs should also reflect the needs in different parts of Afghanistan, Hakimi said. An agricultural component was necessary. Seventy percent of the Afghan population is involved in agriculture. Programs focused on agriculture, animal husbandry, and aquaculture held relatively greater promise, he believed. The GOA has been promoted the concept of alternative livelihoods to poppy cultivation and the drug trade, adding the drug trade continued to fuel the insurgency. ----------------------- FM Okada Visit to Kabul ----------------------- TOKYO 00002391 002 OF 003 7, (C) FM Okada's October 11 visit to Kabul was a strong demonstration of GOJ support for President Karzai and the Afghan government, particularly with the government coming under criticism related to election-related issues, Hakimi said. Although the GOA appreciated GOJ assistance and support, Hakimi stressed that President Karzai needs more tangible support (i.e., greater infrastructure and development assistance) that he can "show the people." Examples of items on the Afghan wish list included a hydro-electric plant in north Afghanistan, similar to the project the GOJ is funding in Iraq, and a railroad project that would be analogous to the Japan's support of the ring road project around Kabul. The GOA had also asked that Japan continue to pay the salaries of Afghan National Polices officers in 2010. ------------------------ Situation in Afghanistan ------------------------ ¶8. (C) Hakimi noted that Afghanistan continued to face daunting challenges following 30 years of war, no rule of law, and weak institutions. In addressing these needs, Afghanistan will continue to need the strong support of its friends and the international community. In this environment, he noted, corruption and irregularities cannot be avoided. Looking at the August 20 presidential election, broad participation among the Afghan population itself represented a measure of success, he said. Although the election aftermath has seen charges of fraud and irregularities, he underscored that a system was in place to address these issues. --------------------- China and Afghanistan --------------------- ¶9. (C) Prior to coming to Japan in May 2009, Hakimi was Afghan Ambassador to China from 2005-2009. He said that China is not a significant contributor in Afghanistan and that while in China, he had been unable to persuade the PRC government that playing a role in Afghanistan would be in China's interest. China had insisted on viewing China-Afghan relations through an economic prism and Afghanistan still had few economic concessions to offer, he said. Nonetheless, Afghanistan had given China some mining concessions in hopes of inducing Chinese assistance. ------------------------ Diet Track II Conference ------------------------ ¶10. (C) Noting that several ruling coalition Diet members, led by Upper House member Tadashi Inuzuka (DPJ), are planning a Track II International Conference on Afghanistan for late November in Tokyo, Hakimi asked to coordinate with the U.S. in responding to this project. Inter alia, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisari has been invited to chair the conference, which we understand may include discussion of reconciliation with the Taliban. Hakimi said the Afghan Embassy had made arrangements for several Diet members including Inuzuka to travel to Afghanistan in recent weeks. Poloff told Hakimi that the Embassy was also keenly interested in learning more about this conference and had sought meetings with Inuzuka and/or his staff to discuss plans for the conference. However, Inuzuka had been traveling abroad for most of October and would be back in Tokyo around October 20. Inuzuka had preferred to meet with us himself rather than with his staff, so we have been awaiting his return. MOFA contacts had told us that while Inuzuka's interest in reconciliation with the Taliban may superficially parallel GOJ ideas for reintegration of lower-echelon fighters, Inuzuka's project was independent and did not represent GOJ policy. Poloff told Hakimi that the Embassy would work closely with the Afghan Embassy as the conference approached. We will report further on this conference septel following Embassy meetings with Inuzuka. ---------------------- Biographic Information ---------------------- ¶11. (C) Born in 1968 in Kabul, Hakimi received a Masters degree from the Polytechnic Institute in 1992 and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that year. In 1994, he left Afghanistan and came to the United States, where he earned a second Masters degree at the University of California-Long Beach. Residing in Orange County, he worked primarily as an engineer until 2002, when he returned to Kabul. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Hakimi said he renounced his TOKYO 00002391 003 OF 003 citizenship to take his post as Ambassador to China, with the assistance and advice of Embassy Kabul and former Ambassador Neumann. Married to an U.S. citizen, he is now a U.S. legal permanent resident. He has two daughters. He speaks excellent English. ROOS



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