US embassy cable - 07ATHENS872

GREECE AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO IRAQ

Identifier: 07ATHENS872
Wikileaks: View 07ATHENS872 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Athens
Created: 2007-05-02 15:16:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: MARR MASS MOPS PREL PTER IZ GR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO3408
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHTH #0872 1221516
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 021516Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8944
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T ATHENS 000872 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/2017 
TAGS: MARR, MASS, MOPS, PREL, PTER, IZ, GR 
SUBJECT: GREECE AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO IRAQ 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 55436 
     B. ATHENS 763 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES RIES.  REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (S) SUMMARY: Per ref a, Embassy has assessed Greece's 
ability and willingness to contribute military or civilian 
resources to enhance the security mission in Iraq.  Greece 
has made financial, logistical, equipment, and training 
contributions to Iraq and may be amenable to further similar 
contributions.  Greece has not contributed troops or other 
personnel, however, and is highly unlikely to do so in the 
future.  END SUMMARY. 
 
GREECE'S RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS 
------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) GoG contacts have told us Greece contributed more than 
14.5 million euros to Iraq, three million of which went to 
the UNDP trust fund (500K for elections, 600K for general 
development projects, and 1.9M for de-mining).  The remainder 
(11.5M) represented bilateral assistance to Iraq focused on: 
health, education, de-mining, emergency situations relief, 
and aid to vulnerable women and children.  Our contacts 
underscored that these contributions 
represented only those undertaken through the MFA.  They 
noted that Greeks were generous in giving to humanitarian 
causes, and it was possible that private Greek organizations 
had also contributed substantial sums in addition to the MFA 
amounts, though they had no data on possible private 
contributions.  In 2004-2005, Greece also contributed 500K 
euros to the UN trust fund for protection of UN forces in 
Iraq and is considering doing so again following the December 
2006 appeal by the UN SYG. 
 
MILITARY CONTRIBUTIONS 
---------------------- 
 
3. (C) At the start of the Iraq war, Greece provided 
extensive support for aircraft refueling and other logistical 
activities at Souda Bay in Crete.  Greek Special Forces teams 
were employed on the high ground above Souda Bay for several 
months to provide security for U.S. military operations 
there.  The Greek military took every available fuel truck 
and driver to help deliver aircraft fuel to the U.S. Naval 
Support Activity airfield, which enabled U.S. KC-135 
refueling aircraft to refuel every B-52 striking Iraq from 
the west.  When it became evident that even more fuel was 
needed, the Greek Air Force diverted 100 percent of their 
115th Fighter Wing's fuel pipeline at Souda Bay to serve the 
U.S. effort.  In the last 18 months, the Greek MOD has 
contributed 100 former East German armored personnel carriers 
(BMPs) and 4.5 tons of ammunition to the Iraqi army, provided 
training in Athens for five Iraqi physicians, and trained 30 
Iraqi military personnel in Bulgaria for two weeks last 
August. 
 
WHAT MORE TO EXPECT 
------------------- 
 
4. (S) The GoG may be amenable to making further financial, 
equipment, or training contributions.  Deputy FM Stylianides 
was to attend the signing of the International Compact with 
Iraq, which we interpret as a signal of the GoG's willingness 
to continue to play a role in Iraqi reconstruction. 
Opposition to the war in Iraq remains very high in Greece, 
however, and politicians from the governing New Democracy 
party and opposition PASOK would regard as political suicide 
any suggestion of sending Greek forces or other personnel to 
Iraq.  This is even more true with elections likely as early 
as September or October. 
RIES 

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