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E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PTER, TU SUBJECT: LOCAL G8 COUNTER-TERRORISM ACTION GROUP MEETING IN TURKEY
REF: STATE 58471 (NOTAL)
1. (SBU) The Russian Embassy in Ankara convened a meeting of G8 Embassies plus Australia, Switzerland and the European Commission on April 12 as the local Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG). Most Missions were represented at the counselor level. Russian Ambassador Petr Stegniy opened the session, noting the importance of NGOs and civil society in countering extremist terrorism. Following Ambassador Stegniy's remarks, Russian Political Counselor Viacheslav Kunakov chaired the meeting, beginning with a review of Russian-Turkish counterterrorism cooperation. Each delegation was invited to review its CT cooperation with Turkey. Our presentation incorporated reftel talking points. The Russian Embassy prepared minutes of the meeting (text at para 3) intended to contribute to the preparations for the April 28 CTAG meeting in Moscow.
2. (SBU) Comment: Most delegations appeared to be lacking instructions and, while describing on-going CT efforts in and with Turkey, were not prepared to brainstorm on new ways to engage the GOT. End comment.
3. (SBU) Begin text of minutes of the local CTAG meeting in Ankara (please note internal numbering):
MINUTES of the Local CTAG Meeting (Embassy of Russia, Ankara, 12th April 2006, Wednesday)
Present: Mr. Elbrus Kargiyev, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation (Chair) Mr. Viacheslav Kunakov, Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation Mr. Oleg Rogoza, Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Zharkikh, First Secretary, Embassy of the Russian Federation Mr. Andrey Yakovlev, Third Secretary, Embassy of the Russian Federation Mr. Reginald King, Counsellor, Embassy of Canada Ms. Jeannette Menzies, Second Secretary, Embassy of Canada Ms. Elisabeth Barsacq, First Counsellor, Embassy of the French Republic Mr. Thomas Bagger, Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Mr. Santo Antignani, Attach, Embassy of Italy Mr. Katsuyoshi Hayashi, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Japan Mr. James Edward McKee, Second Secretary, Embassy of the United Kingdom Mr. Timothy A. Betts, Counsellor, Embassy of the United States of America Mr. James R. Sopp, Second Secretary, Embassy of the United
States of America Mrs. Jennifer Rachel Hayward-Jones, First Secretary, Embassy of Australia Mr. Carlos Saenz De Tejada, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Spain Mr. Urs Beer, First Secretary, Embassy of Switzerland Mrs. Ulrike Hauer, Charge d'Affaires a.i., Representation of the European Commission to Turkey
The local CTAG meeting under the Russian G8 Presidency held in Ankara on 12th April 2006, chaired by Elbrus Kargiyev, DHM of the Russian Embassy.
1. An introductory note on Russia-G8 CTAG cooperation was presented by Petr Stegniy, Russian Ambassador to Turkey. The Ambassador stressed G8's role in the fight against terror, with CTAG being an important instrument for that. The purpose of the local CTAG meeting it to contribute to the preparations for the 2nd CTAG Conference in Moscow, focusing on the ideological aspects of anti-terrorism with reference to the UN Resolution 1624/2005. The importance of NGOs and the civil society in general in the fight against terror was also stressed.
2. Briefing on the current situation in Turkey and the Russian-Turkish counter-terrorist cooperation was then presented by Viacheslav Kunakov. It has been noted that terror (including ethnic separatism, religious and leftist political extremism) is officially considered a major threat to the Republic. Decades of Turkey's fight against terror have provided it with valuable experience thereof, one of its outcomes being the adoption of a solid counter-terrorist legislation,
Over the years, Russia has been developing its counter-terrorist ties with Turkey over a wide range of issues, including ideological counter-terrorism. Form perspective, the relations between the two countries' Muslim communities are of special importance. A number of events have been organized in order to promote such contacts.
Preparations are also underway for the establishment of the Russia-Islamic World Common Strategic Vision Group with a mission to promote peace and tolerance in all spheres, including education.
The Dialogue Eurasia Platform of Turkey has also rendered its support for the international conference called "From Terror to Universal Ethics", which took place in Moscow in June 2005.
Another important anti-terror component is the media cooperation. Back in 2005, the Turkish national broadcasting
company, the TRT, was represented at the "Media in the Fight Against Terror" international conference in Russia. Russian media has been also actively involved in the process of consolidating the efforts for fighting radicalism and extremism in Eurasia (Antalya Confrence, April 2006).
3. Summary of the discussion:
Canada: Past assistance for counter-terrorism projects in Turkey include Forensic Document Examination, Turkish police reform (including Cyber-Crime Investigative Techniques and Incident commander/Crisis Negotiators Course) and an Under cover Operations training course. Although no projects are currently underway, a 15-million-dollar Counter-Terrorism Capacity Programme has been launched by the Government of Canada (including 19 government departments, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs) to provide state assistance in areas of training, funding, equipment, technical and legal assistance. The program will enable Canada to share our experience in border and transportation security; human rights and counter-terrorism training; law enforcement, security, military and intelligence training; Chemical/Biological/Nuclear Terrorism prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery; cyber security and combating the financing of terrorism.
Australia: Anti-terror cooperation with Turkey is currently concentrated on the data exchange and information assistance. Australia listed the PKK as a terrorist organization under the counter-terrorism provisions of the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995 in December 2005.
European Commission: The European Community does not have a specific counter-terrorism policy nor a specific budget line for counter-terrorism related assistance. The EC rather has a composite policy consisting of a variety of separate policy areas. In the case of Turkey projects conducted in the context of pre-accession assistance contribute directly or indirectly to the strengthening Turkey's capacity in the fight against terrorism. These projects are mainly conducted in the field of Justice and Home Affairs covering general Policing, Fight Against Organized Crime and Police Corruption, Fight Against Money Laundering and Corruption, Fight Against Drug Trafficking, Schengen and External Border, Visa Policy and Practice, External Migration and Asylum, Trafficking in Human Beings. A comprehensive judicial modernization programme is conducted jointly with the Council of Europe.
Spain: In relation to the proposed separation of the Turkish border security service from the national gendarmerie, a joint Spanish-French-Turkish instruction programme has been
launched focusing on the EU's existing border security institutions, regulations and practice, which, however, does not include any special anti-terrorist component. Spain, together with Turkey, also co-chairs the UN "Alliance of Civilizations" initiative.
United Kingdom: The Istanbul terrorist attacks of November 2003 came as a shock to everyone, but eventually gave a powerful impetus to the bilateral counter-terrorist cooperation, which by now can be characterized as extremely positive.
Germany: The German-Turkish anti-terrorist cooperation has been developing over a wide range of issues and has been really productive for the both sides. Consultations on CT-efforts have been held at ambassadorial level. The daily coordination of the ongoing anti-terror and police interaction activities is carried out by a resident police coordinator with the German Embassy in Ankara. One of the practical problems that need to be tackled is that the terrorist extradition request files prepared by the Turkish authorities often do not meet the existing requirements for them to be accepted for examination by German courts. In the case of Islamist extremist Metin Kaplan this problem was finally overcome. In other cases it still persists.
United States: Military and intelligence instruments of national power are essential in the fight against extremism, but are not enough. Law enforcement cooperation is also important.
Operational coordination of bilateral anti-terror activities are conducted by a number of different agencies represented at the US Embassy in Ankara. Turkey cooperates with the US against both international and domestic Turkish terrorist groups. The problems Gerany experienced with extradition requests had been also the case with the US until the US government explained US courts' standards to Turkey. The US is planning to assign to the Embassy in Ankara a Department of Justice European law expert to work with Turkish officials in developing extradition requests acceptable to European courts. Other areas of counter-terrorist cooperation with Turkey include active police training programmes, nonproliferation (including the Proliferation Security Initiative), border security enhancement, the improvement of expertise over financial crimes, personnel support to the military's Center of Excellence - Defense Against Terrorism, etc. Turkey has agreed to include Izmir in the US Container Security Initiative under which containers in Izmir will be screened before they depart port.
The fight against the PKK threat is a constant element of
US-Turkish counter-terrorist interaction. While media reports emphasize the Turkish side's requests that the US step up efforts to suppress PKK activities in Northern Iraq, the two countries work closely together to counter PKK activities elsewhere.
Reaching out to moderate voices in Muslim communities and encourage dialogue between Muslims and those of other faiths are also important. We appreciate Turkey's role in the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative in co-chairing the Democracy Assistance Dialogue, as well as its co-sponsorship of the Alliance of Civilizations.
Japan: Currently, Japan's cooperation is focused on capacity-building in the fields such as customs and immigration control applied to Asian countries.
France: The current bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism, which includes the exchange of the related data, is well on track. The problems with the Turkish side's extradition request files are also important.
Switzerland: In relation to the Turkish Side's requests that PKK should be officially recognized a terrorist organization, it has been noted that the existing national legal system of Switzerland implies that each case involving a person charged with terrorism should be evaluated separately, and the Swiss Side therefore has no such practice of preparing a consolidated list of terrorist organizations.
Italy: Counter-terrorist information exchange between the two sides has been put on the regular basis, but no special cooperation projects are being conducted at the moment.
End text of minutes of the local CTAG meeting in Ankara.
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