09ASTANA421, KAZAKHSTAN: UN PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY CENTER HEAD

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA421 2009-03-06 09:44 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1983
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNP RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0421/01 0650944
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 060944Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4848
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1323
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0702
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0389
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1405
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2197
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2525
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0797
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0884
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000421 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/RA, AND EUR/RUS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID ENRG SENV UN ZK
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  UN PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY CENTER HEAD 
DISCUSSES REGIONAL WATER AND ENERGY COOPERATION 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Miroslav Jenca, Director of the UN Regional 
Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA), met 
with the Ambassador on March 2 to discuss regional water and 
energy cooperation and a conference on those issues that will 
be held in Almaty April 19-21.  Jenca said that Kazakhstan 
played a leadership role on water and energy cooperation in 
2008 and has been supportive of UN efforts.  Jenca raised 
concerns about Russia,s manipulation of water issues as a 
lever of political control.  He noted that downstream and 
upstream countries have divergent and very entrenched 
positions, particularly downstream Uzbekistan and upstream 
Tajikistan.  Tajikistan is determined to build the Rogun dam 
and may seek Iranian involvement.  END SUMMARY. 
 
APRIL WATER AND ENEGY CONFERENCE IN ALMATY 
 
2.  (SBU) Miroslav Jenca, UNSYG Special Representative and 
Director of the Ashgabad-based UN Regional Center for 
Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA), told the 
Ambassador on March 2 that the Center plans to hold a 
conference in Almaty on April 19-21 to discuss regional 
approaches to resolving water and energy disputes.  Jenca,s 
office chose Almaty as the venue because of support from 
Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin, Kazakhstan,s 
moderate position as a &peace-maker8 on these issues, and 
its convenient location.  Jenca,s goal is to build a 
&spirit of cooperation,8 to be followed by concrete steps, 
including commissioning World Bank feasibility studies on 
large cooperative projects, such as a 
Kyrgyzstan-to-Afghanistan electricity line, Tajikistan,s 
Rogun dam, and electrical links between Uzbekistan and 
Turkmenistan.   The center is inviting to the conference 
officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, 
agriculture, water, and the environment, as well as the 
presidential administrations, of each of the five Central 
Asian states. 
 
NAZARBAYEV HAS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE 
 
3.  (C) Jenca told the Ambassador that he hoped Kazakhstan 
could play a leadership role at the upcoming conference.  He 
noted that President Nazarbayev has played a key role in 
pressing for water and energy cooperation in 2008 and 
bringing the Central Asian leaders together at an October 
summit in Almaty to discuss these issues.  According to 
Jenca, although the European Union,s recent Strategy Report 
for Central Asia deliberately avoided naming a lead country 
in Central Asia, the understanding is that Kazakhstan is 
central to this effort.  He argued that downstream 
Kazakhstan,s position on water issues is very &moderate8 
in comparison to that of downstream Uzbekistan. 
 
RUSSIAN USING PROBLEMS AS A POLITICAL LEVER 
 
4.  (C) Jenca maintained that Russia is trying to use 
regional water and energy issues as a lever to exert 
political control over the Central Asian states, instead of 
using its technology and resources to genuinely try to 
resolve these problems.  He said that Tajik President Rahmon 
resisted Russian demands for 70% Russian ownership of 
Tajikistan,s Rogun hydroelectric dam and told the Russians 
to &get out.8  This is why the Russians turned against the 
project after Russian President Medvedev had earlier 
announced Russia,s intent to play a lead role in it during a 
2008 visit to Dushanbe. 
 
5.  (C) Jenca also told the Ambassador that the fundamental 
issue for downstream water users is whether or not they can 
trust upstream users.  Turkmenistan,s President 
Berdimukhamedov, who Jenca said is &in (Uzbek President) 
Karimov,s shadow on this issue, has stressed that 
 
ASTANA 00000421  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
maintaining his country,s access to water is a top 
priority.8  Jenca maintained that Tajikistan is determined 
to continue with the Rogun project, and has expressed a 
willingness to use its own resources to complete it, if 
necessary.  Jenca does not believe that Tajikistan has 
sufficient resources to do the job -- which raises the 
question of possible Iranian involvement. 
 
UN AND WORLD BANK HAVE IMPORTANT ROLES TO PLAY 
 
6.  (SBU) According to Jenca, the United Nations, World Bank 
and other multilateral organizations can and should also play 
an important role in dealing with these issues.  He noted 
that when the UN invites all five Central
Asian countries to 
forums to discuss these problems, they are likely to come, 
even if they are not ready to move forward.  He said that 
while it remains unclear to what degree Uzbekistan will 
accept the outcome of World Bank feasibility studies on water 
and energy cooperation, Uzbekistan would like to have the UN 
and World Bank involved in the issues. 
 
FURTHER POSTPONEMENT NOT AN OPTION 
 
7.  (SBU) Jenca told the Ambassador that he is well aware of 
the challenges his Center faces in trying to resolve these 
issues.  He acknowledged that Uzbekistan sees itself as a 
leader in the region, and is unlikely to accept any solution 
that does not affirm this position.  Jenca also said that he 
was aware that various donors had already invested large sums 
of money in trying to resolve water issues &without any 
results.8  However, further postponement of trying to deal 
with the problems is not an option either. 
 
IMPRESSED WITH KAZAKHSTAN 
 
8.  (SBU) Jenca told the Ambassador that Kazakhstan,s 
openness to foreign investment and its investments in human 
capital have given the country a deservedly positive 
reputation.  Jenca, who is a former Slovak diplomat, said 
that after President Nazabayev visited Slovakia, the Slovaks 
implemented a program modeled on Kazakhstan,s Bolashak 
scholarship program, which sends students abroad to study at 
government expense. 
 
9.  (C) COMMENT:  UNRCCA was established in Ashgabat because 
of Turkmenistan,s strong desire to host a regional UN body. 
When Ambassador Jenca first arrived and opened the center, 
which had no clear mandate, he considered a number of the 
region,s problems as too hard to solve.  Given the difficult 
personalities and intractable positions on the water issue, 
he will likely need more than several UN-hosted conferences. 
END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

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