Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 5408 / 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
YM YI YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 10ASTANA267, KAZAKHSTAN: SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE HOLBROOKE

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. #10ASTANA267.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASTANA267 2010-02-26 05:05 2010-12-14 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana
VZCZCXRO3929
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHNP
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0267/01 0570519
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 260519Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7542
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2534
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1880
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1494
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2586
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0466
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 2078
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1925
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000267 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, S/SRAP 

EO 12958 DECL: 03/06/2059 
TAGS PGOV, PREL, MARR, AF, KZ 
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE HOLBROOKE 
DISCUSSES AFGHANISTAN, ZHOVTIS, OSCE SUMMIT WITH FOREIGN MINISTER

Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) Ambassador Richard Holbrooke met State Secretary-Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev on February 21 to discuss Kazakhstan’s support for operations in Afghanistan, including North-South polar-route overflights, the ground transit of wheeled and armored but not weaponized non-lethal military vehicles, Afghan police training, and other bilateral assistance. Holbrooke also strongly urged the government to consider a presidential pardon for imprisoned human rights activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis, discussed Kazakhstan’s request for a bilateral meeting with the President in April, and said the United States was seriously considering Kazakhstan’s initiative to organize a summit in 2010 during its chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), although, as Secretary Clinton had told Saudabayev recently, the President would not attend. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Participants: United States
SRAP Ambassador Holbrooke Ambassador Hoagland SRAP Staff Gen. Field SRAP Staff Pauli SRAP Staff Bommer NSC Director for Central Asia Donnelly SCA/CEN Director Hushek Embassy Astana Acting Pol/Econ Chief Covert (notetaker) Embassy Astana Pol/Econ LES Zhantikina (interpreter)
Kazakhstan
State Secretary-Foreign Minister Saudabayev Deputy Foreign Minister Umarov Deputy Foreign Minister Yermekbayev MFA International Information Committee Chair Vassilenko Special Envoy for Afghanistan Bitimov MFA Asia and Africa Department Director Kurmanguzhin MFA America Department Director Tazhiyev MFA America Department Arystanov

3. (SBU) State Secretary-Foreign Minister Saudabayev met privately for 30 minutes with SRAP Holbrooke and then escorted him into the larger meeting. Media were present during Saudabayev’s welcoming remarks, but left after five minutes.

A WARM WELCOME FOR AN OLD FRIEND

4. (SBU) Saudabayev warmly welcomed SRAP Holbrooke back to Kazakhstan, and said that Kazakhstan is grateful for the strategic vision, leadership, and advice the United States has provided to bring stability to Afghanistan. He stressed that Kazakhstan has been and will remain a “trusted and strategic partner” of the United States, and has stood by the United States ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

5. (C) After the press left the room, SRAP Holbrooke told Saudabayev that Kazakhstan is “the most important country in the region,” expressed admiration for President Nazarbayev’s achievements since independence in 1991, and asked Saudabayev to convey his personal regards to Nazarbayev, who was out of town.

A UNIQUE ROLE TO PLAY

6. (C) Holbrooke told Saudabayev that -- as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE -- Kazakhstan has a “unique role to play this year in world affairs.” He said he appreciated Kazakhstan’s focus on stability in Afghanistan and told Saudabayev that the situation is “at a very critical moment.” He noted that the United States was tripling the number of troops from 31,000 to 100,000 since January 2009, and hadtripled the number of civilians in Afghanistan. Holbrooke said the United States would welcome Kazakhstan becoming more involved in Afghanistan, and said that Kazakhstan could share its expertise with Afghanistan in police training and agriculture, for example.

NORTH-SOUTH POLAR-ROUTE OVERFLIGHTS

7. (C) To support operations in Afghanistan, Holbrooke reminded Saudabayev that the United States has requested Kazakhstan’s agreement on North-South polar-route overflights and rail transportation of wheeled and armored but not weaponized military vehicles. Saudabayev responded that the government plans to present the U.S. Embassy its draft agreement on North-South polar-route overflights by the end of the week of February 22. He said he did not expect it would take the United States long to review and approve the agreement, since it is based on an existing agreement with Russia. Saudabayev said he expected to be able to finalize and sign the agreement in March, before President Nazarbayev departs for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, on April 12-13. Saudabayev also said that he expects the North-South polar-route overflight agreement to “clear the way” for an agreement on the ground transportation of armored military vehicles.

8. (C) Saudabayev added that President Nazarbayev strongly supports the President’s strategy in Afghanistan, particularly the increase in troop levels, and the transfer of greater responsibility and accountability to the government of Afghanistan. Saudabayev told Holbrooke that Afghanistan is the “most serious problem” facing Kazakhstan at the moment and promised, “We will stand with you to resolve the situation, because it affects the security and stability of our region.”

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFGHANISTAN

9. (C) Saudabayev said Kazakhstan welcomes the U.S. objective to make the transition from military operations to sustainable humanitarian and social development through investments in infrastructure and education. Saudabayev noted that Kazakhstan itself will provide $50 million for an education program and he introduced a Kazakh SRAP, Bitimov, whom he said has worked on Afghanistan for 30 years, “speaks the language,” and understands the mentality and culture of the Afghan people. Holbrooke said he was pleased by the appointment of Special Representative Bitimov and invited him to visit Washington to discuss coordination efforts in Afghanistan.

THE ZHOVTIS CASE

10. (C) Holbrooke told Saudabayev that the imprisonment of human rights activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis is one of the pressing issues affecting Kazakhstan’s bilateral relationship with the United States. He told Saudabayev that Zhovtis has become a symbol for the opposition in Kazakhstan, “a fact that he certainly understands and exploits.” Holbrooke said that if Zhovtis could be released by presidential pardon, that would reduce his symbolic value, since “he is worth less to the opposition out of jail than in jail.”

11. (C) On Zhovtis, Saudabayev agreed that “neither you nor we need this problem.” But he said that this is an issue of principle. “We must respect the independence of our judicial system,” he said. “If we make an exception to the law for Zhovtis,” he claimed, “then 200 others with similar sentences will demand to be released from prison as well. They are watching to see if the government of Kazakhstan will be pressured into releasing Zhovtis.” He also said that as a human rights activist, “Zhovtis never came under any political pressure” to cease his activities. Saudabayev said that Zhovtis unfortunately killed a man, was tried and sentenced by a court of law, and now must serve his four-year sentence. According to Saudabayev, “the law worked exactly the way it was designed.”

12. (C) Saudabayev observed that the “unprecedented pressure” being placed on Kazakhstan as a result of the Zhovtis conviction is “not viewed positively in our society.”  He acknowledged that the “only legitimate way out” for Zhovtis would be via presidential pardon, but said, “that is the prerogative of our president.” Attempting to draw a parallel, Saudabayev added that he admired the “persistence” of the U.S. judicial system in its persistent attempts to get film director Roman Polanski, “even though he was forgiven by the victim.” Holbrooke took strong exception, noting that Polanski fled justice, escaped the law, and has been living free despite his conviction by a U.S. court.

REQUEST FOR A BILATERAL MEETING

13. (C) Holbrooke said he was hopeful that bilateral meeting between President Obama and President Nazarbayev could be arranged in April. NSC Director Donnelly confirmed that the White House is considering a possible bilateral meeting. He noted that NSC Director McFaul might visit Kazakhstan in the near future for further discussion on this issue, but that no decision has been made.
OSCE SUMMIT IN 2010

14. (C) On the subject of an OSCE Summit in 2010, Saudabayev asked Holbrooke to convey his thanks and warmest regards to the Secretary of State for their “instrumental and helpful” meeting on February 4 in Washington. He said he was grateful to have U.S. support for holding the Summit, and noted that Afghanistan would certainly be a major item on the agenda. SRAP Holbrooke told Saudabayev that, “we will make certain that the United States is represented at the appropriate level.” While Holbrooke promised to advocate personally for the meetings that Kazakhstan has requested, since they would serve the interests of both countries, resolution of other issues such as North-South polar overflights, ground transportation of military vehicles, and Zhovtis, would greatly facilitate positive decisions in Washington.

15. (SBU) Ambassador Holbrooke cleared this cable. HOAGLAND