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WikiLeaks: 2006-05-10: 06BAGHDAD1554: Cabinet Negotiations Continue, Missing PM-Designate's Proposed Deadline of May 10

by WikiLeaks. 06BAGHDAD1554: May 10, 2006.

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 03:59 PM UTC


Viewing cable 06BAGHDAD1554, CABINET NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE, MISSING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BAGHDAD1554 2006-05-10 06:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy
Baghdad
VZCZCXRO9161
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHGB #1554/01 1300645
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 100645Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4370
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 001554 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/10/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PNAT ECON ENRG EPET ETRD KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: CABINET NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE, MISSING 
PM-DESIGNATE'S PROPOSED DEADLINE OF MAY 10. 
 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert S. Ford for reasons 1.4 (b) a 
nd (d). 
 
1.    (C) Summary. Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki 
told reporters May 9 that he might take all the time allotted 
to form his cabinet.  He told the Ambassador May 8 that he 
would bend to the Kurds' insistence that Barham Salah become 
DPM but considered it an uncooperative beginning to their 
partnership in governance.  Maliki was still reviewing 
candidates for the interior and defense ministries. SCIRI 
continued to push Bayan Jabr for the Minister of Interior and 
the Fadhila party still sought to cling to control over the 
Ministry of Oil.  The agreement among the political parties 
that the Shia Coalition will use one of its ministerial slots 
to appoint a Turcoman and the Kurds will use one of theirs to 
appoint a Christian allows the Kurds to kill two birds with 
one stone by nominating KDP Christian Kurd Fawzi Hariri to 
minister. This leaves Assyrian Christian leader Yonadam Kanna 
angry and out in the cold. The Kurds expressed dismay over 
the ministries the Shia Coalition plans to dole out, bringing 
them back into a huddle for serious counter-offer 
negotiations. Meanwhile there was a second-hand report that 
the National Dialogue Front (Hewar)leader  Saleh Mutlak would 
settle for the Ministry of Culture despite his earlier 
demands for the Foreign Ministry.  End Summary. 
 
------------------------------ 
Maliki Announces New Timetable 
------------------------------ 
 
2. (C) Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki told reporters 
May 9 that he might take all the time allotted to form his 
cabinet.  He told the Ambassador May 8 that he would bend to 
the Kurds' insistence that Barham Salah become DPM and 
Hoshyar Zebari remain Foreign Minister.  Maliki remarked 
however that he considered it an uncooperative beginning to 
their partnership in governance.  Maliki was still reviewing 
candidates for the interior and defense ministries. 
 
--------------------------- 
The Sequel - Badr and Bayan 
--------------------------- 
 
3.    (C) In a May 9 phone conversation with PolFSN, Badr 
Organization CoR member Sheikh Dhiya al-Fayyad said the 
Ministry of Interior will most likely go to the Shia Islamist 
Coalition, with Bayan Jabr as the Shia Coalition's nominee 
for the post.  (Sadrist negotiator Baha al-Araji confirmed 
this to us late May 9, adding that the Sadrists will not 
support Jabr.)  Al-Fayyad said the Fadhila Party still 
coveted the Ministry of Oil (MoO) despite the efforts of the 
rest of the Shia Coalition in support of Shia independent 
Hussein Shahristani whom Fayyad said was an honest 
politician.  According to al-Fayyad, it was even suggested 
that Fadhila nominate Shahristani as the party's candidate to 
lead the MoO, but Fadhila declined to do so.  The Shia 
Coalition would oppose Thamir al-Ghadban's MoO candidacy, 
al-Fayyad said, because he was too close to former PM Ayad 
Allawi. 
 
------------------------------ 
Christian CoR Member Complains 
------------------------------ 
 
4.    (C) Christian CoR member Yonadam Kanna called Poloff on 
May 9 to complain vigorously about the presumed process by 
which Christians and Turcomen were to be represented in the 
National Unity government.  According to an agreement among 
the political parties, the UIA will use one of its 
ministerial slots to appoint a Turcoman and the Kurds will 
use one of theirs to appoint a Christian. Kanna said he had 
no quarrel with this method but was incensed that the Kurds 
did not consult him on who should be the Christian 
ministerial nominee (Note: Kanna is the designated appointee 
of the Iraqi Minorities Council to the Iraq National 
Security/Policy Council. End Note) Kanna said he was 
especially upset that Fawzi Hariri (current chief of staff to 
FM Zebari) reportedly would be the Kurd "Christian" 
ministerial nominee for the Ministry of Transportation) 
since, according to Kanna, Hariri has never been involved in 
Christian issues. 
 
-------------------------- 
Christian, Kurd or Both? 
-------------------------- 
 
5.    (C) On May 9 KDP Council of Representatives (CoR) 
member Fawzi Hariri confirmed that the Kurdish Alliance 
announced that he would be one of their official ministerial 
nominees.  Hariri also confirmed that the Kurds agreed to 
 
BAGHDAD 00001554  002 OF 002 
 
 
give one of its ministries to a Christian. Kurdish Christian 
Hariri said was not comfortable with being the "Christian" 
nominee and may refuse a ministerial nomination on that 
basis. Hariri told PolOff that the Kurds are not likely to 
accept the ministerial distribution doled out by Shia 
Coalition that gave them women's affairs, civil society, 
foreign affairs, water resources, industry, environment and 
housing. Hariri exclaimed that he had no knowledge that a 
ministry of civil society even existed. 
 
6.    (C) A 15-year ex-British Airways executive, Hariri said 
he aspires to be Minister of Transportation. But with Fadhila 
capturing the Ministry of Trade in combination with the 
Sadrists retaining control of Transportation, Hariri warned 
that the 'wrong' Shia would completely control the Basrah 
port, creating a corrupt, mafia-like situation for any goods 
and services entering the country.  Hariri said the Kurds 
would have to meet and decide what they will bargain for to 
try to end Sadrist control over the Ministry of 
Transportation.  Hariri said if the Kurds are unable to 
secure the Ministry of Transportation, he would consider the 
Ministry of Construction and Housing. 
 
----------------------------- 
MUTLAK MAY SETTLE FOR CULTURE 
----------------------------- 
 
7. (C) Saad al-Janabi of the Iraqiya List told Poloff on May 
9 that Hewar's Salih Mutlaq may join forces with Iraqiya for 
government ministry negotiations.  Al-Janabi said Mutlak 
would accept the post of Minister of Culture rather than go 
into opposition despite Mutlak's private and public demands 
to be named the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Many of our 
contacts, including Shia Coalition negotiators, presume that 
Hoshyar Zebari will remain Foreign Minister and that a new 
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, technically 
subordinate to the Minister, will be created for an Arab. 
SATTERFIELD

 


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