US embassy cable - 07KABUL173

AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES RULE OF LAW CONFERENCE WITH ITALIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER

Identifier: 07KABUL173
Wikileaks: View 07KABUL173 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Kabul
Created: 2007-01-18 10:55:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: CHANGED
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO1343
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0173/01 0181055
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181055Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5526
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 5166
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0292
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3524
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3408
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 6679
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 2017
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000173 
 
SIPDIS 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y  (TAGS CHANGED) 
 
SIPDIS, SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR SCA/FO (GASTRIGHT), SCA/A, S/CRS, SCA/PB, 
STATE/INL (SCHWEICH), S/CT, EUR/RPM 
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/CDHA/DG 
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN 
OSD FOR KIMMITT 
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958 N/A 
TAGS:  PGOV, PREL, KJUS, PTER, KCRM, AF 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES RULE OF LAW CONFERENCE 
WITH ITALIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER 
 
KABUL 00000173  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador and Embassy Rule of 
Law (ROL) Coordinator met January 15 with Italian 
Ambassador Sequi and a delegation from Rome led by 
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Vernetti.  The meeting 
produced an agreement that the upcoming Rome ROL 
Conference would be held in April with an agenda 
focused on core ROL issues.  Planning for the 
conference would be driven from Kabul and by the GOA. 
The Ambassadors also exchanged views on steps to 
encourage reform of the Afghan judicial system, 
including the need for better cooperation between 
senior officials.  END SUMMARY. 
 
Plans for Rome ROL Conference 
----------------------------- 
 
2. (U) On January 15, 2007, the Ambassador and the 
Rule of Law Coordinator met at the Italian Embassy 
with Italian Ambassador Sequi and with a delegation 
from Rome led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vernetti. 
The delegation included Anna Della Croce, Special 
Envoy for Afghanistan. The purpose of the meeting was 
to discuss plans for the upcoming Rule of Law 
Conference that will be hosted by Rome. 
 
3. (U) Vernetti confirmed the conference would be held 
in April (after Easter) and will last two days. The 
Ambassador agreed that it was helpful for Italy to be 
in the lead, as opposed to the U.S., and that the 
conference should be Afghan and Kabul-driven.  Italy 
will be establishing a conference working group in the 
next few days. The Ambassador promised U.S. support. 
 
4. (SBU) Asked whether the conference should include 
counter-narcotics and security issues, or a discussion 
of transitional justice, the Ambassador encouraged 
Italy to focus the agenda on justice institution 
reform and core ROL issues.  (NOTE: 
Despite this conversation, a subsequent news story 
stated that Italy announced the conference will cover 
justice, security, human rights, and counter- 
narcotics. The Embassy has learned that NSA Rassoul 
requested that security be a major topic at the 
conference. While DFM Vernetti was apparently 
receptive to the idea at first, both Rome and Italy 
have subsequently confirmed the previous 
understandings about the focus of the conference on 
the justice sector. The Italian Ambassador will be 
informing NSA Rassoul of this fact shortly. It is 
envisioned by the GOI that sub-topics could include 
the connections between drugs and ROL and police- 
prosecutor interaction. END NOTE.) DFM Vernetti also 
expressed an interest in including discussion of the 
interplay of secular, sharia and customary law. The 
Ambassador responded that this was a longstanding 
issue that the Afghans would have to address. 
 
5. (U) The Ambassador agreed on the value of a 
concrete action plan for the conference and for 
specific outcomes.  They concurred it will be useful 
to gain clarification on areas of agreement and 
disagreement among donors as to how to engage with the 
Afghanistan's ROL ministries and on what basis (e.g. 
current reform plans of the Chief Justice or others). 
Areas of disagreement can be solved in the JCMB and 
Tea Club mechanisms. 
 
6. (U) With respect to conference attendance, no 
 
KABUL 00000173  002 OF 002 
 
 
specific groups or countries were mentioned, but the 
Ambassador said that those invited should be current 
donors or be willing to commit as new donors. Vernetti 
expressed the view that there should be high-level 
representation for the opening and closing of the 
conference, particularly from foreign ministries, 
although others would be involved in conference 
proceedings.  He pressed for high level US attendance. 
 
7. (U) The Italians did not raise the issue of 
Brahimi's involvement, and it was not discussed. 
(Note:  The Embassy has learned that his assistance is 
sought by Ms. Della Croce personally and is not a 
policy position of the GOI.  The Ambassador's view is 
that the decision should be left in the hands of the 
GOA. Separately, Ambassador Neumann spoke with 
President Karzai about Brahimi.  Karzai said he would 
welcome Brahimi's help in organizing the RoL 
conference, but not as a long-term figure in the 
justice sector, unless Brahimi plans on spending 
significant amounts of time in Kabul. End Note.) 
 
Encouraging Afghan Legal Reform 
------------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) The Ambassador stressed the importance of 
encouraging Chief Justice Azimi and Attorney General 
Sabit to work cooperatively with one another.  At this 
juncture, it is important that the Supreme Court 
ensure open and fair trials and appropriate sentences, 
while Sabit must secure trials and convictions, rather 
than simply arrests.  The Italians agreed with this 
approach and with advancing it broadly with a unified 
international position.  The Ambassador also stressed 
that while juridical solutions to crime and corruption 
were necessary in reforming the GOA, they were not 
sufficient, and that equally important was changing 
the societal view of corruption and public service. 
 
9. (U) Agreeing that salaries for judges and 
prosecutors remain too low, the Ambassador expressed 
the concern that salary supplementation programs can 
be counter-productive if they do not have long-term 
funding. He supported Ambassador Sequi's idea to 
provide more perquisites such as better housing for 
judges, which is a recommendation addressed in the 
Supreme Court's 5-year plan.  No final position was 
adopted. 
 
NEUMANN 

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