FM DAVUTOGLU VISIT TO PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN
2009 June 18
B. SECSTATE 58282 Classified By: Classified by: DCM Doug Silliman for reasons 1.4 (b,d) 1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 9. 2.
(C) SUMMARY: Foreign Minister Davutoglu presented $10 million for IDP support plus additional material aid to Pakistan during a recent visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan July 9-12. Turkey also agreed on a new mechanism for cooperation with both Pakistan and Afghanistan, and met with political party and opposition leaders in both countries. The GOT plans to host a Friends of Democratic Pakistan Ministerial in early September and has asked about Secretary Clinton's availability so that it can organize specific dates around her schedule. END SUMMARY. T
URKEY'S AID TO PAKISTAN ------------------------
3. (C) On June 16 we met with MFA South Asia/Iran DDG Babur Hizlan, who briefed us on Davutoglu's visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan. At the April 2009 Tokyo Donor's Conference, Turkey pledged $100 million in aid to Pakistan. $10 million of this was given as cash by the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan in May. The remaining portion will be administered by TIKA (Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency), which will establish an office in Islamabad similar to that which it has already established in Kabul.
4. (C) Davutoglu presented a separate $10 million check to Pakistan for IDP aid. Turkey has also sent 4 military aircraft filled with medical and other relief, with the fourth arriving during Davutoglu's visit. Turkey is also considering sending a fifth plane. Additionally, the Turkish Red Crescent has an office in Pakistan and is helping with capacity building of Pakistan's relief agencies. According to Hizlan, Pakistani authorities told the visiting Turkish delegation they expect to send IDPs back to their homes within weeks, however the ICRC and Turkey both believe that it will be at least 6 months before the displaced persons are able to return. TURKEY'S AID TO AFGHANISTAN ---------------------------
5. (C) Turkey is also making significant contributions in Afghanistan. During Davutoglu's visit, the delegation met with the Minster of Education and discussed increasing Turkey's role in supporting the development of education in Afghanistan. Currently the GOT supports one girls' school, established by the Turkish Ministry of Education in the Akcha District in Northern Afghanistan. Although the school recently suffered a bombing attack, the Turkish female teachers remain. The GOT considers this school a test case, and (despite the bombing attempt) feel that it is so far successful. GOT would like to establish additional schools but faces funding and staffing issues.
Turkey is one of the few nations Afghanistan can accept administering educational facilities, Hizlan asserted. However, Turkey does not have the money to establish the number of schools Afghanistan would like (ideally 68- 1 girls' and 1 boys' school in each province). DU/S Feridun Sinirlioglu discussed with Ambassador Holbrooke the possibility of establishing an international fund for education. Turkey could use these funds, working within an established control system, to set up and administer the additional schools. Hizlan said the GOT would also like to create a teacher training center in Kabul and if funding can be found, will work with the Turkish Ministry of Higher Education to provide staffing.
6. (C) In addition to the schools built and run by the GOT, there are an additional 8 schools in Afghanistan run by the Fethullah Gulen movement, not associated with the GOT. Hizlan said that although it is true that in Turkey there are some doubts about the Gulen movement, however compared to the former Taliban education system in Afghanistan, the Gulen perspective is revolutionary. (NOTE: There are 16 Gulen schools in Pakistan. END NOTE.) During Davutoglu's visit, Turkey signed "strategic dialogue" and "cooperation mechanism" agreements with both Pakistan and Afghanistan. These are based on similar arrangements Turkey established with Iraq in July 2008, and call for regular meetings at the Ministerial level. ANKARA 00000852 002 OF 002 MEETINGS WITH PAKISTANI AND AFGHANI POLITICAL LEADERS --------------------------------------------- --------
7. (C) Davutoglu met with political leaders of ruling parties and opposition in both countries. In Pakistan, he met with the Sharif brothers, and passed on what Hizlan said is a standard message: "Do whatever is required for the stability of Pakistan and don't focus on narrow personal political gains... or there might not be a Pakistan for you to enjoy those gains in." Hizlan said they found both Sharif brothers to be impressive and intelligent, and said they both have a strong following. He said that if there was an election today in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif would win the Prime Minister seat. However, Sharif is waiting for "his time" in order not to destabilize Pakistan, and Hizlan commented that he is acting responsibly.
8. (C) In Afghanistan, Davutoglu met with President Karzai as well as the front runners in the presidential race along with current President Karzai, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. Hizlan said that neither of the two seemed to have enough support to seriously challenge Karzai. Turkey will support whoever receives the broadest support in Afghanistan (they see this person as Karzai) and believe that the next president should be Pashtun for the stability of the country. Hizlan said the GOT delegation received questions about the status of General Dostum in Turkey from the press during the visit, to which they reiterated Turkey's message that Dostum is not in Turkey in exile, but rather is in Turkey for medical treatment and is free to leave at any time. However, Hizlan told us that they have encouraged Dostum to stay, because he is better in Turkey than in Kabul- "he is sane here, he reasons better. Now you can talk to him and ask for his opinions."
10. (C) ACTION REQUEST: Hizlan said that the dates for the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Ministerial meeting are proposed for sometime during the first week of September 2009. The GOT would like to invite Secretary Clinton as well as Ambassador Holbrooke to the meeting, and would like to know if Secretary Clinton is available to participate during any of the first seven days of September. Post appreciates Department's guidance in responding. Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey