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WikiLeaks: 2006-02-23: 06BAGHDAD573: Patriarch Delly Pessimistic about Prospects for Chaldeans

by WikiLeaks. 06BAGHDAD573: February 23, 2006.

Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM UTC


Viewing cable 06BAGHDAD573, PATRIARCH DELLY PESSIMISTIC ABOUT PROSPECTS FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BAGHDAD573 2006-02-23 10:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO6331
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHGB #0573 0541055
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231055Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2869
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 000573 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2016 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINR IZ
SUBJECT: PATRIARCH DELLY PESSIMISTIC
ABOUT PROSPECTS FOR CHALDEANS 
 
Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR ROBERT S. FORD
FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) Summary: On February 16, Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel 
III Delly told PolOff that conditions for his community were 
getting worse.  He expressed concern about human rights, 
religious freedom and political representation for Chaldean 
Catholics in Iraq.  He noted that Christians elected to the 
Council of Representatives were not representative of the 
Chaldean community.   Patriarch Delly stressed the need for a 
diverse cabinet, one that would include a member of the 
Chaldean Church.  When asked whether there were any Chaldean 
leaders hoping to serve in leadership positions in the new 
government, he responded in the negative but pointed to 
Election Commissioner Farid Ayar as a Chaldean whom he 
believed could adequately represent the community. Post will 
remain in touch with the Patriarch and other Chaldean leaders 
in order to monitor their concerns.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
SENSE THAT CONDITIONS ARE WORSE FOR CHALDEANS 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Patriarch Delly told PolOff February 16 that 
conditions for the Chaldean community in Iraq had worsened. 
Without providing specifics, the Patriarch said he was very 
concerned with human rights and religious freedoms for his 
community.  A major worry, he underlined, is the livelihood 
of his parishioners, many of whom he says depend on stores 
that sell liquor.  The Patriarch noted 
that many of these stores have been targeted and closed 
despite his perception that the major consumers are Muslims 
(NOTE: The Patriarch said he did not know who was responsible 
for the closures but suspected Islamists.  END NOTE).  The 
Patriarch said that sectarian violence had become more 
prominent in Baghdad, and that his community was even more 
fearful for its safety than the previous year.  He cited the 
recent car bombings outside several Chaldean churches January 
29. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
CHALDEAN REPRESENTATION IN NEW GOV'T NON-EXISTENT 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
3. (C) Patriarch Delly also outlined his complaint about the 
lack of Chaldean representation in the new government.  He 
expressed his support for a unity government, but told PolOff 
that a truly representative government should include a 
Chaldean in a prominent position.  When PolOff asked whether 
there were any Chaldean leaders who would be jockeying for 
government positions, Patriarch Delly said no.  He did, 
however, point to Election Commissioner Farid Ayar, whom he 
said he held in high regard. While he acknowledged the 
presence of Christian representatives in the new parliament, 
he said that these Christians largely belonged to the 
Assyrian Church and/or do not represent the Chaldean 
community interests.  (NOTE: While the Assyrian and Chaldean 
Churches are historically linked, only the latter is in 
communion with the Roman Catholic Church.) 
 
4. (C) PolOff noted to the Patriarch the benefits of engaging 
with other religious leaders as a way to bring Chaldean 
concerns to the forefront.  PolOff suggested that the 
Patriarch's efforts, as well as the Chaldean community's 
efforts, to engage in dialogue with other leaders would 
contribute to the democratic process and would also benefit 
the Chaldean community.  The Patriarch responded by saying 
that he was not willing to engage in that capacity and that 
the problem was not with the leaders, but with the "common 
man."  He explained to PolOff that security was an issue, and 
advocacy could worsen that situation for himself and Chaldean 
Catholics. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
5.  (C) Patriarch Delly has become more distressed about 
conditions for the Chaldean community.  Although unable to 
statistically define the extent to which conditions have 
worsened for the community, his outlook was decidedly grimmer 
than during previous visits.  Post will continue to meet with 
Chaldean leaders and encourage them to provide details about 
security incidents and to engage in dialogue with other 
communities with whom they have common concerns. 
KHALILZAD

 


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