Viewing cable 08ABUDHABI1418
Title: CROWN PRINCE'S MEETING WITH SENATOR BAUCUS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08ABUDHABI14182008-12-18 07:59:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
VZCZCXRO9300
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHAD #1418 3530759
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 180759Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1889
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABU DHABI 001418 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/17/2018 
TAGS: PGOV OREP PREL PARM KPAL CVIS IR AE
SUBJECT: CROWN PRINCE'S MEETING WITH SENATOR BAUCUS 
 
Classified by Ambassador Richard Olson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (C) Summary. During his December 13-15 visit to the UAE (reported 
septel), Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) discussed the UAE's strategic 
vision with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al 
Nahyan (MbZ).  Baucus noted his amazement with the UAE's progress. 
MbZ presented an overview of the UAE's efforts to become a regional 
"good news" story, despite security challenges.  The US-UAE 
relationship is strong but should continue to expand, including 
through sending more UAE students in the United States.  MbZ told 
Baucus the new Administration should focus on the Middle East, 
including the peace process and Iran.  End Summary. 
 
¶2. (C) On December 14, Senator Baucus, accompanied by the Ambassador, 
Senate Finance Committee Staffer Demetrios Marantis and EconOff, met 
with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who was joined by UAE 
Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba.  Baucus told MbZ 
that he was amazed by the UAE, which was even more stunning than he 
expected.  Baucus said that he was embarrassed he had not been aware 
of how deep the US-UAE bilateral relationship was and appreciated the 
UAE's cooperation on key issues, e.g., troops in Afghanistan, 
leadership on the Santiago sovereign wealth fund principles, and 
canceling Iraqi debt.  Baucus told MbZ that Amb. Al Otaiba would help 
more people -- in Congress and the United States -- understand the 
UAE. 
 
A MODEL FOR THE REGION -- AND THE WORLD 
--------------------------------------- 
 
¶3. (C) MbZ told Baucus that the UAE is trying to send the right 
message to the world and the region: "There's good news in the Middle 
East."  MbZ said the UAE encourages others in the region to follow 
its positive examples, noting that the sheer number of expatriates 
living in the UAE prove that "our lifestyle is better."  He told 
Baucus that "tens of thousands" of Saudi families live in the UAE, 
although the fathers work in Saudi Arabia.  UAE leadership is 
motivated by a desire to ensure future generations, who he likened to 
his own children, are "better than us."  MbZ told Baucus that he 
believes in retirement and looks forward to see the next generation 
("my family or others") leading the nation.  He noted that there must 
be good preparation for a smooth transition. 
 
SECURITY A CHALLENGE 
-------------------- 
 
¶4. (C) MbZ told Baucus that the UAE has enjoyed a high level of 
security despite the presence of many nationalities.  Noting the 
recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, MbZ admitted that maintaining 
security is a tough challenge in the region, but the UAE has been 
lucky -- and had good leadership.  He pointed to UAE military support 
for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan: "Terrorists will not leave us alone, 
so there is no reason to hide." 
 
US-UAE RELATIONS STRONG 
----------------------- 
 
¶5. (C) With the support of friends like the United States, MbZ 
predicted ultimately the UAE will prevail.  He said it was important 
to have US ships in the Gulf to send a clear message to Iran -- 
"until they have better leadership" -- that the US is committed to 
regional security.  MbZ and Al Otaiba told Baucus that more visits 
from senior USG officials will further strengthen the bilateral 
relationship.  Baucus said that few on the Hill know the region well, 
which can lead to protectionism.  MbZ agreed that "we have to do our 
homework," but the special relationship between the UAE and the 
United States would not be affected if some things "don't work out." 
 
¶6. (C) MbZ said that sending UAE students to the United States is an 
important investment.  The Ambassador noted that more UAE students 
would obtain visas in 2008 than in any year since 2001.  MbZ agreed 
visa difficulties had dissuaded some students, but others were simply 
nervous about traveling to the United States after September 11.  MbZ 
told Baucus he was pleased some U.S. universities like NYU are 
opening campuses in the UAE, but that it was also important UAE 
students go abroad to be exposed to other cultures. 
 
ADVICE FOR NEW ADMINISTRATION 
----------------------------- 
 
¶7. (C) Baucus asked MbZ for advice for the new President and 
Congress.  MbZ said he would like to see U.S. involvement in the 
Middle East and the Peace Process from the beginning of the 
president's term in office, not just a priority at the end.  MbZ said 
the world is changing quickly, so it is important to consider how new 
developments, such as the current financial crisis, should impact 
policies.  We must work together to address future challenges like 
Iran.  MbZ likened Iranian aspirations today to the rise of Hitler in 
the 1930s.  He told Baucus Iranian leaders think they need nuclear 
military capabilities in order to reestablish the Persian Empire. 
Iran is a challenge, but MbZ said we must work to help them 
understand "right and wrong." 
OLSON