US embassy cable - 04ROME1636

ITALY NOT PRESSING FOR ALBANIAN TROOPS TO JOIN ITALIAN IRAQ CONTINGENT

Identifier: 04ROME1636
Wikileaks: View 04ROME1636 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2004-04-26 13:31:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: MARR MOPS PREL AL IT IRAQI FREEDOM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T ROME 001636 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/26/2014 
TAGS: MARR, MOPS, PREL, AL, IT, IRAQI FREEDOM 
SUBJECT: ITALY NOT PRESSING FOR ALBANIAN TROOPS TO JOIN 
ITALIAN IRAQ CONTINGENT 
 
REF: A) TIRANA 532 (NOTAL) B) STATE 51767 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR TOM COUNTRYMAN FOR REASONS 
1.5(B)(D) 
 
    1. (C)  CONTACTS AT THE MFA, MOD AND PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE 
CONFIRMED THAT PRIME MINISTER BERLUSCONI AND PRIME MINISTER 
NANO DISCUSSED THE POSSIBILITY OF ALBANIAN TROOPS JOINING 
WITH ITALIAN FORCES IN SOME THEATRE TO GIVE THE ALBANIANS 
MORE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES.  NONE OF OUR CONTACTS REFERRED 
TO THIS AS A "REQUEST" MADE BY BERLUSCONI.  THE CONCEPT 
EVOLVED FROM GENERAL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT HOW TO BOLSTER 
ALBANIA'S CANDIDACY FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP.  IN MEETINGS WITH 
CONTACTS, INCLUDING THE ALBANIAN EMBASSY DCM, FOR A READ-OUT 
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING PM NANO'S VISIT, NO ONE EVEN MENTIONED 
THAT THIS HAD BEEN RAISED.  WHEN BROACHED IN RESPONSE TO 
REFTEL A, NONE OF OUR CONTACTS REQUESTED USG SUPPORT FOR SUCH 
A PROPOSAL. 
 
2. (C) COMMENT.  THERE IS NO INDICATION FROM OUR MEETINGS 
WITH ITALIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OR FROM PRESS REPORTING 
THAT BERLUSCONI IS LOOKING TO THE ALBANIANS FOR POLITICAL 
COVER FOR ITALIAN PARTICIPATION IN IRAQ.  WE SUSPECT THIS IS 
THE ITALIAN AMBASSADOR IN TIRANA'S SPIN.  THE ITALIANS HAVE 
TRADITIONALLY PLAYED A "BIG BROTHER" ROLE TO ALBANIA AND HAVE 
BEEN WORKING WITH THE ALBANIANS TO STRENGTHEN THEIR NATO 
CANDIDACY.  THIS WOULD SEEM TO BE A MORE LIKELY EXPLANATION 
FOR ITALIAN SUPPORT FOR A JOINT CONTINGENT.  SINCE 
INTEGRATING ALBANIANS INTO AN ITALIAN FORCE IN THE BALKANS IS 
NOT ADVISABLE, IRAQ WOULD BE AN ALTERNATIVE OPTION.  WE LEAVE 
TO OTHERS TO DETERMINE WHETHER IT WOULD BE USEFUL TO 
ASSOCIATE AN ALBANIAN CONTINGENT WITH THE ITALIANS IN THE 
BRITISH SECTOR IN IRAQ.  END COMMENT. 
 
VISIT ROME'S CLASSIFIED WEBSITE: 
HTTP://WWW.STATE.SGOV.GOV/P/EUR/ROME/INDEX.CF M 

SEMBLER 
 
NNNN 
 2004ROME01636 - Classification: SECRET 


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