US embassy cable - 06ASHGABAT178

TURKMENISTAN: CTAG MEETING MORE STYLE THAN SUBSTANCE

Identifier: 06ASHGABAT178
Wikileaks: View 06ASHGABAT178 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ashgabat
Created: 2006-02-07 13:29:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINR PREL PTER RS TX
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO8475
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHAH #0178/01 0381329
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071329Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6966
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-2/REA/NMJIC-J2// PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2/HSE/CCJ5// PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J5/RUE// PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 1593
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0315
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1140
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000178 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CACEN (PERRY), INR/RA (FEINBERG) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2016 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PREL, PTER, RS, TX 
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: CTAG MEETING MORE STYLE THAN 
SUBSTANCE 
 
REF: 05 ASHGABAT 767 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Tracey A. Jacobson for reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
 SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.    (SBU) Representatives of six of the G-8 countries met 
at the Russian Embassy on February 7 to discuss 
counter-terrorism assistance with the GOTX during the first 
local CTAG meeting of the Russian G-8 presidency.  Although 
invited and encouraged by the Russian Embassy to attend, the 
GOTX failed to send a representative. The Russian 
representatives focused on the ideological approach to 
defining and combating terrorism while the U.S. delegation 
openly disclosed current and planned programmatic efforts 
focused on counternarcotics and WMD. Apart from the U.S. 
Embassy, bilateral missions admitted to having no 
counter-terrorism programs in Turkmenistan; however both EU 
and OSCE reps shared their programs.  The representatives 
agreed to meet quarterly and distribute a post-meeting 
communiqu (to be drafted by the Russian Embassy but cleared 
by all representatives) to the GOTX,s Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs.  End Comment. 
 
RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES: WORDS VICE ACTION 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
2.    (SBU) Representatives from the Russian, U.S., U.K., 
French, Japanese and German embassies along with the EU-Tacis 
Advisor and OSCE Project Manager met for a one-hour 
Russian-hosted meeting.  (Note: Italy and Canada do not have 
diplomatic missions in Ashgabat. End Note.)  Dominating the 
group were the five delegates from Russia: Charge d,Affaires 
A.A. Krutko, First Secretary A.V. Letoshnev, Cultural Affairs 
Officer E. Tsybikzhapov, Defense Attache S. Shcherbakov and 
Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Rezident Rear Admiral 
Alexander Bulakhtin.  The Russians read three prepared 
Russian-language speeches that focused on defining terrorism 
and countering media definitions that would exclude rebel 
groups in the Northern Caucuses.  The Russians made no 
reference to Turkmenistani-specific problems or programs. 
 
3.    (SBU) All representatives lamented the absence of GOTX 
representation and noted that open discourse was the first 
hurdle to overcome if genuine counterterrorist action could 
be taken in Turkmenistan.  Aside from planned OSCE trainings 
and conferences on money laundering and terrorist financing 
and the USG,s EXBS program, active programs were related to 
counternarcotics efforts and limited to the United States and 
OSCE.  Delegates recognized the connection between illicit 
drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism. 
 
4.    (SBU) In response to the Ambassador,s remarks that 
embassies and international missions have enjoyed increasing 
bilateral cooperation on security issues with the GOTX, but 
the USG wants to see GOTX action to address TIP and drug 
demand reduction, Krutko offered the unscripted 
English-language remark that &Russia and the GOTX will sign 
a comprehensive bilateral anti-drug commitment to combat 
drug-trafficking in the next couple of weeks.8  In stark 
contrast to the USG,s specific program details, Krutko did 
not provide any program information, and framed the 
commitment as a step to &break up (the GOTX,s) wall of 
self-isolation.8 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
5.    (C) Reminiscent of the June 2005 law-enforcement 
roundtable meeting (reftel), the Russians were keenly 
interested in the specific details of embassy programs, yet 
offered none of their own.  At the conclusion of the meeting, 
Russian DAO Shcherbakov literally took Poloff,s prepared 
notes from her hands.  Poloff attempted to explain that the 
Russian Embassy already had this information, but he was 
undeterred.  (Note:  Embassy DAO provided a copy of DOD 
programs for Shcherbakov.  End Note.)  Absent GOTX 
representation, the meeting concluded without addressing the 
 
ASHGABAT 00000178  002 OF 002 
 
 
three main agenda items: ideological counteraction to 
terrorism in response to UNGA resolution 1624, 
Turkmenistan,s experience with counterterrorism, and 
Turkmenistan,s potential needs for receiving assistance. 
Although the atmosphere was friendly and collegial, there was 
no discussion or interactive dialogue.  End Comment. 
JACOBSON 

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