This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MANAMA 001747
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON KMPI KDEM BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN PARTICIPATION IN G8 BMENA FORUM FOR THE
REF: A. STATE 242059
B. STATE 237054
Sensitive but unclassified (deliberative process); please
protect accordingly. Not for Internet distribution.
1. (SBU) Ambassador November 20 delivered Ref A and B
G8/BMENA talking points and agendas to Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar. Abdul Ghaffar said
that Minister of Finance and National Economy Abdulla Saif
would attend the December 11 meetings in Rabat, but it was
not yet clear whether Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed
bin Mubarak Al Khalifa or Abdul Ghaffar himself would
accompany Saif. There was a chance Mohammed bin Mubarak
would have to remain in Manama at the time of the Rabat
meetings. In this case, Abdul Ghaffar would lead the
"political" side of the Bahraini delegation.
2. (SBU) In a meeting on November 22 with the visiting U.S.
Secretary of the Navy Minister Saif confirmed to the
Ambassador that he would attend the Rabat meeting and that
his staff was currently working on two papers: one on the
Entrepreneurship Center and the other on the Network of
Funds. During the meeting, Saif referred to his phone
conversation the day before with Treasury Under Secretary
Taylor, during which they discussed the Network of Funds
initiative at length. (Note: In a separate meeting with
EconOff on November 22, Yousif Humoud, Director of Economic
Planning at the Ministry of Finance, said he expected Saif to
present the Network of Funds paper at the Finance Ministers'
break-out session. Governor of the Bahrain Monetary Agency
(BMA) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa would also travel
to Morocco to give the presentation on the Entrepreneurship
Center, given the BMA's role in managing the Bahrain
Institute for Banking and Finance, host to the new center.
3. (SBU) Abdul Ghaffar said that his government is concerned
that momentum in the BMENA initiative could peter out under
the British G8 presidency. He is very appreciative of
President Bush's leadership and hopes that Prime Minister
Blair demonstrates the same commitment. As a start, Blair
could invite regional leaders to the next G8 summit. Abdul
Ghaffar said that the initiative was important to demonstrate
that the G8 countries, and in particular the U.S., are
friends doing positive things for the peoples of the region.
4. (SBU) Abdul Ghaffar stated that Bahrain would host the
2005 Forum for the Future meeting. The Ambassador responded
that Secretary Powell had noted the Bahraini offer to host
during his meeting with BMENA and G8 foreign ministers on the
margins of the UNGA, but the issue appeared not to be settled
yet. Abdul Ghaffar replied that he had confirmed information
that Bahrain would host the 2005 meeting, but this news was
not yet public.