Viewing cable 08VILNIUS475
Title: LITHUANIA IN AFGHANISTAN: WHERE THEY ARE NOW

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS4752008-06-17 13:10:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO1387
OO RUEHPW
DE RUEHVL #0475 1691310
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 171310Z JUN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2422
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0021
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 0033
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0009
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0025
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000475 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2018 
TAGS: MOPS MARR PREL NATO AF LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA IN AFGHANISTAN: WHERE THEY ARE NOW 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 421 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 272 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1. (C) Summary: The GOL secured conditional funding from UAE 
and Saudi officials for reconstruction projects in Ghor 
province in a meeting facilitated and attended by USAID 
Administrator Fore on the margins of the June 12 Paris 
Conference.  MFA U/S Talat-Kelpsa intends to combine a trip 
to Ghor in the wake of the May 22 death of a Lithuanian 
soldier (ref A) with an additional leg in Kabul to discuss 
Gulf State/Korean funding conditions with the Afghan Minister 
of Finance.  End summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Lithuanian FM Vaitiekunas secured conditional funding 
for the USD 300 million Herat to Chaghcharan road project and 
the reconstruction of the airfield at Chaghcharan airport 
from senior UAE and Saudi officials in a meeting on the 
margins of the June 12 Paris Conference.  The Gulf State 
ministers tentatively agreed to help fund these projects but 
requested a letter from the Afghan Minister of Finance 
stating that they are priorities for the GOA, feasibility 
studies for both projects, and a guarantee that, if funded, 
each project will be awarded through competitive bidding. 
 
¶3. (C) Also on the margins of the conference, Korean Deputy 
Foreign Minister Oh Joon expressed interest to GOL MFA U/S 
Talat-Kelpsa in funding the airfield reconstruction and said 
the GOK plans to spend USD 30 million over the next five 
years in Afghanistan.  According MFA Development Counselor 
Tomas Irnius, who was also in Paris, the Koreans likewise 
requested a feasibility study for the airfield project. 
 
¶4. (C) Irnius said he expects U/S Talat-Kelpsa will combine 
his fact-finding trip to Ghor province with a trip to Kabul 
to meet with the GOA and discuss the three conditions the 
Gulf States laid down before they will fund the 
reconstruction projects.  The fact-finding trip has been 
postponed twice, however, once due to overflight problems and 
once due to mechanical problems.  Irnius said he suspects U/S 
Talat-Kelpsa will try to go to Afghanistan in the coming 
weeks. 
 
¶5. (C) Irnius told us that the GOL believes the GOA plans to 
award the airfield reconstruction project to a construction 
company on June 20, and only then will initiate a feasibility 
study and give it to the winning company.  He also repeated 
the fears we've heard previously from the GOL that the GOA 
plans to resurface the airport runway to a thickness that 
would not support heavy military aircraft, such as C-130's 
(ref B).  Irnius said it is U/S Talat-Kepsa's aim to halt any 
construction of the airfield until more money can be secured 
from either the UAE or the Koreans.  With additional money, 
whoever actually paves the airfield can afford to do it to 
such a thickness that it will support heavy aircraft. 
 
¶6. (C) Comment:  The Lithuanians expressed their gratitude to 
Administrator Fore for facilitating the four-way meeting 
between FM Vaitiekunas, the Gulf State representatives, and 
herself.  One interlocutor told us he felt the meeting never 
would have taken place were it not for her presence.  We 
agree and thank her for taking the time.  We will continue to 
engage with the GOL to ensure it undertakes appropriate 
follow up actions. 
CLOUD