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WikiLeaks: 2006-05-11: 06BAGHDAD1566: Government Formation Update: Much Swirling, Little Progress

by WikiLeaks. 06BAGHDAD1566: May 11, 2006.

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM UTC


Viewing cable 06BAGHDAD1566, GOVERNMENT FORMATION UPDATE: MUCH SWIRLING,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BAGHDAD1566 2006-05-11 17:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO1699
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHGB #1566/01 1311746
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111746Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4393
INFO RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 001566 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2026 
TAGS: PGOV PNAT IZ
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT FORMATION UPDATE:  MUCH SWIRLING, 
      LITTLE PROGRESS 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 1559 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: POL Couns Robert Ford, reason 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  We still see no closure on the key 
Interior, Defense and Finance ministry portfolios. 
Tawafuq negotiator Ali Baban told Poloff on 
May 10 that Tawafuq wanted the Planning, Education and 
Health Ministries but has not yet received confirmation 
that they will get them.  He also said that Sheykh Khalaf 
Alayan, as head of the National Dialogue Council, one of 
the three parties in Tawafuq, may insist on a government 
position.  Iraqiya leaders met with their negotiating team 
on May 11 in a meeting described as indecisive, tentative 
and uneasy.  Amid allegations that some Iraqiya List 
leaders were negotiating separate agreements with the Shia 
for government positions, Iraqiya negotiator Hussein 
Sha'alan told PolFSN on May 11 that leaders of the Iraqiya 
list would  stand with Ayad Allawi until they see what 
ministries are offered to them.  KDP member and possible 
Kurd Ministry of Industry nominee Fawzi Hariri told Poloff 
May 11 that he was not qualified for the position and would 
prefer Transportation or Construction and Housing. 
Christian leader Yonadam Kanna blustered  to Poloff on May 
11 that Iraqi Christians in the US would stage 
demonstrations to protest what he termed the lockout of 
Christians from the Iraqi government.  Kanna believed that 
his one seat in the parliament entitled his party to a 
ministerial slot in the government.  End Summary. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Tawafuq Firm on Desired Ministries 
----------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Tawafuq Front ministerial negotiator Ali Baban told 
Poloff on May 10 evening that Tawafuq continued to insist 
that it be awarded the Planning, Education and Health 
Ministries.  Baban said that he was the proposed candidate 
for the Planning Ministry and that President Talabani sent 
a letter to Prime Minister-designate Maliki late May 10 
supporting the nomination.  Tawafuq was nominating Dr. 
Rafia'a al-Eesawee for the Health Ministry, said Baban.  He 
said that Tawafuq proposed several names for the Education 
Ministry.  He characterized Tawafuq's nomination of Sheykh 
Khalaf Alayan for Defense as a political ploy to placate 
one of the leaders of the Front.  Poloff asked whether 
Alayan was not placated with Mahmud Mashadani's election to 
the position of parliament Speaker - the most senior 
Tawafuq political appointment, since both Alayan and 
Mashadani came from the Front's National Dialogue Council 
group.  Baban responded that Alayan may still seek some 
type of appointment for himself.  Baban complained about 
that there were lots of problems working with Iraqiya as 
its leaders were breaking away and attempting to negotiate 
separate deals with the Shia. 
 
-------------------------- 
Iraqiya tentative as ever 
-------------------------- 
 
3. (C)  On May 11, one of Iraqiya's three-man negotiating 
team, Sheykh Hussein Ali Sha'alan, told PolFSN that the 
Iraqiya list had met that morning to discuss what 
candidates to put forth for which ministries.  Instead, 
Sha'alan described the meeting as indecisive, tentative and 
uneasy.  Sha'alan reported that Adnan Pachachi continued to 
complain about losing out to Tawafuq on the deputy 
premiership while other members complained that the 
negotiating team was not doing its job.  Sha'alan argued 
that the Shia Coalition keeps changing the distribution, 
making it difficult to make counter offers.  The members 
looked to Ayad Allawi to lead the bloc in deciding which 
cabinet positions to pursue.  In the end, the group agreed 
to wait and see what the Shia Coalition would be willing to 
give Iraqiya.  Sha'alan downplayed rumors that the Shia 
Coalition has been lobbying various Shia members to leave 
Iraqiya, but did not discount the possibility.  He said, 
"Until we know what we get, we will stand with Allawi." 
 
------------------- 
KDP to work for PUK ? 
------------------- 
 
4. (C)  On May 11, KDP member Fawzi Hariri told PolOff that 
he was not particularly pleased that the Kurdish leadership 
may secure for him the next Minister of Industry position. 
He admitted that he does not have the qualifications to run 
this ministry.  Knowing that the Shia Coalition is unlikely 
to relinquish the Transportation ministry, Hariri said he 
would pursue securing the Ministry of Construction and 
 
BAGHDAD 00001566  002 OF 002 
 
 
Housing where he thought he has better qualifications. 
Otherwise, he claimed that he would  resign his post as 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief of Staff and ask for a 
position working for PUK Deputy Prime Minister nominee 
Barham Salih. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Christian Leader Unhappy - Claims Ministry Entitlement 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
5. (C) Leader of the Assyrian Christian group Yonadam Kanna 
complained forcefully to Poloff on May 11 that the Kurds 
were locking the Christians out the government.  He 
demanded that the Embassy insist that he, as the 
representative of Iraqi Minorities Council, be the one who 
nominated the "Christian" minister.  He claimed that the 
Christian community in the US was incensed because the 
reputed token Christian, Fawzi Hariri, had never been 
connected with the Christian political movement in Iraq. 
Christians in the US would organize protest 
demonstrations, he blustered.  Kanna told Poloff that the 
Christians were entitled to a Ministry based on the 
constitutional requirement that minorities be represented 
in government.  Poloff suggested that Kanna negotiate 
Christian participation in government with PM-designate 
Maliki or with the Kurds, arguing that one parliamentary 
seat did not necessary entitle his party to a ministry. 
Poloff continued that if the Kurds agreed to use one of 
their ministerial slots to appoint a Christian, Kanna could 
take advantage of this to argue with the Kurds that he, as 
representative of the Iraqi Minority Council, should be 
consulted on the nomination. 
KHALILZAD

 


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