Viewing cable 04MUSCAT2111
Title: OMAN: US-EU DIALOGUE ON MIDDLE EAST REFORM

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04MUSCAT21112004-12-05 03:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 002111 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR NEA/PI, EUR/ERA, E (JTURNER, DMORRISON) 
ABU DHABI FOR MEPI: H. WECHSEL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAID ECON KMPI PGOV PREL MU
SUBJECT: OMAN: US-EU DIALOGUE ON MIDDLE EAST REFORM 
 
REF: A. STATE 235816 
 
     ¶B. MUSCAT 02050 
 
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Dutch Ambassador (EU Representative) 
reports having received no instructions from Brussels on 
quarterly BMENA coordination meetings with the U.S. (ref A). 
Furthermore, there will be no EU funds earmarked for Oman 
before 2007 at the earliest.  Only seven EU states have 
missions in Muscat, and each of them manages their limited 
assistance programs on a purely bilateral basis. 
Nevertheless, the Dutch will undertake to coordinate an EU-US 
meeting in the first quarter of 2005.  Prior consultations 
with the UK Embassy (the most BMENA-active local EU-member 
mission) revealed difficulties in securing funding and 
overcoming challenges dealing with the Omani bureaucracy. 
End Summary. 
 
----------------- 
European Disunion 
----------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Per ref B, Pol/E Chief met with the Dutch Ambassador 
(current EU representative in Oman) on December 1. 
Ambassador Annelies Boogaerdt reported having received no 
instructions from Brussels requesting EU-US coordination 
meetings.  As the chief representative of the 7 EU embassies 
in Oman (for the current Dutch and upcoming Luxembourg 
presidencies), however, she offered to organize future 
quarterly meetings beginning in early 2005 to coordinate 
European Union Strategic Partnership (EUSP) and MEPI programs 
at the deputies level.  Both Pol/E Chief and Ambassador 
Boogaerdt agreed to share outlines of current assistance 
programs in Oman for the next meeting. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Ambassador Boogaerdt noted that there are currently 
no EUSP funds for Oman from Brussels, nor any envisioned in 
the next two years.  Moreover, the EU pays more attention to 
its North African "back yard" rather than the distant Gulf. 
Consequently, Ambassador Boogaerdt continues to promote her 
modest Dutch assistance programs in Oman on a purely 
bilateral basis, as do the other resident European missions. 
She also said that her annual assistance budget (increasing 
threefold to $50,000 in 2005), and limited personnel, 
primarily support awareness and development programs in the 
health (HIV/AIDS) sector.  Encountering a similar obstacle as 
MEPI, Ambassador Boogaerdt said that Omani government prefers 
that the Dutch programs eschew the EUSP label. 
 
-------------------- 
UK's Limited Success 
-------------------- 
 
¶4. (SBU) EmbOffs conferred with UK Embassy colleagues on 
assistance programs in October, as part of an informal and 
irregular consultative process.  UK DCM and PolOff noted that 
they have no country-specific budget for Oman, but rather 
compete for regional projects on a case-by-case basis.  They 
had focused a number of programs on human resources 
development with both the Ministry of Manpower and the 
Ministry of Civil Service that have been bogged down in the 
Omani bureaucracy.  Discussions with the Omani Attorney 
General are ongoing on a needs assessment for training and 
technical assistance.  Whereas the USG has had a successful 
program (through IRI) of professional staff development at 
the Majlis al-Shura (Oman's elected quasi-legislature), the 
UK has succeeded in engaging Shura members on a peer level 
through a multi-party parliamentary group from the House of 
Commons.  The UK MPs have established a standing bilateral 
committee in the Commons chaired by MP Alan Duncan, and are 
considering offering clinics to Shura members on issues such 
as constituent relations and managing district offices.  Like 
the USG, the UK Embassy works with Omani civil society groups 
to help build their capacity. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶5. (SBU) The EU missions in Muscat are limited both in 
number, size, and funding.  There appears to be little 
coordination re their bilateral assistance programs.  Like 
us, they seem to grapple with limited funding (often designed 
on a regional rather than country-specific basis), a shortage 
of staff with which to implement programs, and difficulties 
navigating a somewhat suspicious Omani bureaucracy.  We will 
encourage greater information sharing, ideally on a quarterly 
basis, but expect the European programs collectively to lag 
behind USG efforts in Oman. 
BALTIMORE