INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Regional Energy Chiefs of Mission Conference -

Published: Thu 6 Sep 2007 07:56 AM
VZCZCXRO9464
PP RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #2273/01 2490756
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060756Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 1947
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA PRIORITY 0020
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 8330
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY 1531
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 1016
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 1029
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST PRIORITY 0270
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 4263
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0032
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 5578
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 5419
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6681
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA PRIORITY 1187
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 3127
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA PRIORITY 1679
RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA PRIORITY 0158
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB PRIORITY 0183
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3639
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
INFO RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3258
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2265
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002273
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
FOR CHIEFS OF MISSION
E FOR U/S JEFFERY
EEB FOR A/S SULLIVAN
EUR FOR DAS BRYZA
SCA FOR PDAS MANN
DEPT PASS TDA FOR DAN STEIN
DEPT PASS DOE FOR PDAS FREDRIKSEN
DEPT PASS NSC FOR LAUREN CATIPON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA ENRG TU
SUBJECT: REGIONAL ENERGY CHIEFS OF MISSION CONFERENCE -
ADMINISTRATIVE AND LOGISTICS INFORMATION
REF : ANKARA 1785
1. This message grants country clearance and provides an update on
administrative and logistical arrangements for the Regional Energy
Chiefs of Mission Conference to be held at the Conrad Hilton hotel
in Istanbul September 20-22, 2007. Attendees will receive a
notional schedule via email in coming days.
2. Based on email exchanges with Mission Turkey, the following is
our list of current participants. If your name is not included, and
you think you are or should be participating, please be in touch
with Elaine Taylor at Consulate Istanbul (TaylorEB@State.gov) and
Dale Eppler at Embassy Ankara (EpplerDB@State.gov).
Ashgabat - Amb. Richard E. Hoagland
Astana - Amb. John M. Ordway
Athens - DCM Thomas Countryman
Baghdad - Amb. Charles Ries
Baku - Amb. Anne E. Derse
Berlin - Amb. William R. Timken, Jr.
Bucharest - Amb. Nicholas F. Taubman
Budapest - Amb. April H. Foley
Kyiv - Amb. William B. Taylor
Ljubljana - Charge Maryruth Coleman
Moscow - Amb. William J. Burns, Geoffrey Lyon
Paris - Amb. Craig R. Stapleton
Rome - Amb. Ronald P. Spogli
Sofia - Amb. John R. Beyrle
Tbilisi - Amb. John F. Tefft
USEU Brussels - Amb. C. Boyden Gray
Vienna - Charge Scott F. Kilner
Zagreb - Amb Robert A. Bradtke
E - U/S Ruben Jeffery, III and Executive Assistant David Nelson
EEB - A/S Daniel S. Sullivan
SCA - PDAS Steven R. Mann
EUR - DAS Matthew J. Bryza
TDA - Dan Stein
DOE - PDAS Kathy Fredriksen and DAS Alan Hegburg
DNI - Amb. Joseph Presel
NSC - Lauren Catipon
Other - Bud Coote
3. Arrivals: Attendees who have not already done so should notify
Elaine Taylor and Dale Eppler via email of their flight arrival and
departure times. We suggest that attendees book the Vista Travel
Service for airport arrival and departure. Those who want to use
this service should notify Elaine Taylor by email and the Consulate
will then arrange for a Vista driver to be waiting with a name
placard at the airport. The one-way fare is USD 35 payable in cash
to the driver; a receipt will be delivered to the hotel. Round trip
fares of USD 70 can be paid on the first leg of the trip and a
receipt will be provided on the return leg. Attendees also can take
taxis from the airport for which the fare is approximately YTL 45 or
USD 36. A separate arrangement will be made for U/S Jeffery.
4. Hotel: Arrangements have been made for participants to stay at
the Conrad Hilton where the conference meetings will take place.
Reservations should be confirmed through the consulate rather than
directly with the hotel. The Conrad is located at Yildiz Caddesi,
Besiktas, 34353, Istanbul. The telephone and fax numbers,
respectively, are (90) 212 227-3000 and (90) 212 227-3407.
ANKARA 00002273 002 OF 003
Participants are, of course, free to stay elsewhere, but transport
to off-site events will be arranged to and from the Conrad.
Check-in time at the Conrad is 10 AM on Thursday, September 20.
Attendees arriving before that time will be able to leave their
luggage at the hotel until they check-in.
5. Sightseeing: For spouses interested in visiting some of
Istanbul's many sites, the Consulate will arrange a sightseeing
program on a self-pay basis for Friday, September 21. Upon request,
the Consulate can make additional arrangements for English-speaking
guides. Consulate Istanbul requests attendees notify Elaine Taylor
no later than September 13 of their interests and requests for
guides so that they can contract services.
6. Conference fee: To defray the cost of conference incidentals,
dinner Thursday, lunch Friday, and transportation within Istanbul,
participants will be charged a USD 150 conference fee. This fee
should be reimbursable as a separate item against attendees' travel
orders. We will collect this fee on Friday morning at the beginning
of the Conference and provide a receipt for your travel voucher.
7. Events: The Conference will kick off at 7:00 PM Thursday,
September 20 with a welcome dinner hosted by Istanbul Consul General
Sharon Wiener at her residence. Transportation will be provided to
and from the Conrad. Spouses are welcome, but we ask that you
notify Elaine Taylor and Dale Eppler if your spouse plans to attend.
Dress for this dinner is casual. Dress for the conference meetings
on Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22, is similarly casual.
Lunch Friday will be informal among the conference participants, and
it will be at the Conrad. For dinner Friday, one of the American
Chamber of Commerce affiliates here, the American Business Forum in
Turkey (ABFT), has offered to arrange a Bosporus cruise and dinner.
Dress will be informal/smart casual. Spouses are welcome at this
event, but we ask that you notify Elaine Taylor and Dale Eppler in
advance if you and your spouse plan to attend.
8. Cultural Note: The Conference will be taking place during the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan. While Turkey is a secular country,
many Turks will observe Ramadan by fasting between the hours of
sunrise and sunset.
9. Visas: Please note that all Americans entering Turkey must have
a valid visa. Holders of official or diplomatic passports must
obtain visas from the nearest Turkish embassy (not consulate) before
arriving in Turkey. Visas for official and diplomatic passports
will NOT/NOT be available at ports of entry. The only exception is
military personnel under CINC control traveling on NATO orders.
Military IDs are NOT/NOT acceptable travel documents. Travelers
with tourist passports can obtain a visa valid for one entry/three
months at ports of entry upon payment of a USD 20 fee in cash. (This
fee is payable only in U.S. Dollars cash. Note that this could
involve significant delay at the airport.)
10. Security Assessment: In light of ongoing military operations in
Iraq and continued operations in support of the war on terrorism,
there remains the potential for both transnational terrorist groups
with anti-Western sympathies, to include Kongra Gel (formerly PKK),
Revolutionary People's Liberation/Front (DHKP/C), Marxist-Leninist
Communist Party (MLKP) Turkish Communist Party/Marxist Leninist
(TKP/ML), Turkish Workers and Peasants Revolutionary Army (TIKKO)
and Islamic Greater Eastern Raiders/Front (IBDA/C) continue to
ANKARA 00002273 003 OF 003
operate in Turkey.
Attacks over the last few years attributed to these groups have
occurred in the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal resort areas, as
well as in Istanbul. Most of the attacks, generally small-scale
bombings, have occurred in neighborhoods of Istanbul not generally
frequented by official Americans or tourists. Also in 2005 and 2006
public buses have been set on fire, with the most recent incident
resulting in three deaths. Thus far, these attacks on buses also
have taken place in areas of Istanbul distant from official American
or tourist destinations. A Kurdish group ostensibly aligned with
the PKK terrorists claimed responsibility for many of the incidents
noted above, and in April 2006 this group issued a statement
renewing a threat to target Turkey's tourism industry.
Violent demonstrations have occurred throughout Turkey, the most
recent in Istanbul and in several cities in Southeastern Turkey.
Just as with members of Mission Turkey, USG visitors are required to
obtain RSO Ankara and DCM approval for travel to the Southeast.
Al-Qa'ida threats to target U.S. facilities in Turkey have been
public knowledge for some time. On November 15, 2003 two synagogues
in Istanbul were the targets of suicide truck bombs. On November
20, 2003 the British Consulate General and the London based HSBC
Bank in Istanbul were struck by powerful explosions, killing dozens
and wounding hundreds. Through prosecutions of those responsible
are still ongoing, indications are that the indigenous radical
Islamic terrorist group responsible was supported by the Al-Qa'ida
network. The August 2005 discovery in Antalya of a potential plot
against maritime interests and subsequent arrest of a Syrian
Al-Qa'ida facilitator and planner further attest to the ongoing
transnational threat.
The incidence of crime, both violent and the more traditional
tourists crimes (pick pocketing, purse-snatching, etc.), is
relatively low throughout Turkey. However, over the last year,
there has been a marked increase in the number of crimes reported to
Consulate General Istanbul. Much of the crime is centered in the
areas frequented by tourists, Consulate employees and official
visitors. Visitors should be particularly attentive for pick
pockets in and around the Sultanahmet, Taksim Square, and Istiklal
Caddesi areas of Istanbul. Often pick pocketing is preceded by some
sort of diversion, such as an argument or fight, or children asking
to assist tourists, for example with their bags, If you encounter
such activity, secure your wallet or purse and quickly leave the
area. Another scam that is becoming more prevalent is that of a
stranger approaching a visitor and striking up a conversation which
is continued inside a restaurant or club, where one is either
drugged and robbed or presented with an enormous bill and
intimidated into paying it. The security office encourages visitors
to report any security incidents, including surveillance, to the RSO
immediately.
Useful security information about Turkey is available on the
following websites:
--Embassy Ankara: http://ankara.usembassy.gov.
--Consulate General Istanbul: http://istanbul.usconsulate.gov.
WILSON
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media