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WikiLeaks: 2006-12-07: 06BAGHDAD4480: Parliamentary Roundtable Discusses Iraq's Situation with Codel Shays

by WikiLeaks. 06BAGHDAD4480: December 07, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 07:14 PM UT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BAGHDAD4480 2006-12-07 18:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
DE RUEHGB #4480/01 3411821
P 071821Z DEC 06
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004480 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2016 
Classified By: (U) Classified by Political Counselor Margaret 
Scobey, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
1. (C).  SUMMARY.  CODEL Shays met December 3 with a 
roundtable of Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) members 
that included all major political blocs.  Member reactions 
and recommendations to the current situation largely fell 
along sectarian and party lines.  Sunni Arab Tawafuq members 
complained of discrimination and the lack of real 
participation, while a leading secular Iraqiyya member 
bemoaned the lack of support for liberal secular movements. 
A Shia Independent said the main problem is terrorism and 
expressed his hope that the U.S. military can help the GOI 
get rid of it.  A leading Shiite Fadhila member described the 
current problem as political, not governmental or 
organizational.  He said the problems would remain even if 
the government were changed.  A Kurdish bloc member stated 
that although the Kurds bore no role in the sectarian 
violence plaguing Iraq, all Iraqis need to work together as 
an internal front and cooperate to solve the serious problems 
facing the country.  END SUMMARY. 
2. (C) CODEL Shays met December 3 with a roundtable of 
Council of Representatives (CoR) members: Abd al-Khalaq 
al-Zangana (Kurdish Alliance/KDP), Hassan al-Shemmari (Shia 
Coalition/Fadhila), Safia al-Suhail (Iraqiyya), Dr. Ala Mekki 
(Tawafuq/IIP), Taha Khudayr al-Luhaiby (Tawafuq/National 
Dialogue Council), Amer Thamer Ali (Shia 
Coalition/Independent), and Ablahad Sawa (Kurdish 
Alliance/Chaldean Democratic Union Party). 
Sunni Arabs List Complaints/Suggestions 
3. (C) Al-Luhaiby listed four main problems for the Sunni 
Arabs: (a) Sunnis feel the demographic statistics are not 
correct.  He claimed that the ration card system indicates 
that 40 percent of Iraqis are Sunnis; (b) Sunnis entered the 
political process to stop the killing, but there has been no 
opportunity for real participation, in particular, he 
bemoaned the lack of a Sunni "sovereign" ministry; (c) since 
2003, he alleged that no construction or reconstruction 
projects have taken place in Sunni areas; and (d) Sunnis as a 
group have been branded as "takfiris," (those who call others 
infidels) even though they are supported by both Shiite Iran 
and Sunni Syria. 
4. (C) Dr. Ala Mekki said his Iraqi Islamic Party was 
involved in the political process from the beginning and 
agreed to the government's political program and national 
reconciliation initiative.  However, with the passing of 
time, these two programs have produced no results on the 
ground.  He bemoaned the (a) the lack of security (burning of 
mosques and kidnappings) and militia violence; (b) 
infiltration of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF); (c) lack of 
basic essential services; (d) sectarianism in the ministries; 
and (e) intervention of the PM to stop violence in some 
(Shiite) areas while supporting military operations in others 
(Sunni areas). 
5.  (C) While critical of the PM's performance, Mekki 
expressed his belief that PM Maliki has good intentions, and 
that he is trying hard to make change.  Mekki made four main 
suggestions: (a) all government personnel pledge to work 
against violence or incitement of violence and if they 
violate the pledge, that they be removed from their 
positions; (b) appointment of technocrats to security and 
essential service ministries; (c) halting the displacement of 
people from certain areas; and (d) bringing militia members 
who commit violence to justice. 
Shia Coalition Viewpoints 
6. (C) Shia Independent Amer Thamer Ali told CODEL Shays that 
the Shia were denied all of their rights under the previous 
regime, but that they have participated in the political 
process and work with all sides now.  He said the main 
problem is terrorism.  He expressed his hope that the U.S. 
military can help the GOI get rid of terrorism and said Iraq 
needs U.S. help in the security area.  Leading Fadhila member 
Hassan al-Shemmari described the current problem as 
political, not governmental or organizational.  He criticized 
the sectarian basis of political process, saying it should 
have been based on the interests of Iraq as a whole. As such, 
Shemmari argued, the problems that plague Iraqi politics 
would remain even if the government were changed.  There are 
political struggles and problems between the various Iraqi, 
BAGHDAD 00004480  002 OF 002 
regional states, and international powers - and until now, no 
political solution has been found. 
Secularist Decries Current State of Iraq 
7. (C) Leading Iraqiyya member Safia al-Suhail said the 
removal of Saddam Hussein was a great victory for democratic 
change.  She bemoaned the fact that the international 
community had defined the Coalition presence as occupiers, 
not liberators.  Safia defined all the violence that has 
ensued as resistance, fueled and supported by neighboring 
countries (with a view toward "liberating Iraq").  The 
problem of sectarian violence, she continued, is caused by 
the support of armed groups from these neighboring countries. 
 She said sectarian quotas and the absence of a national 
citizenship have exacerbated the violence.  She highlighted 
the politicization of religion as a main problem and the lack 
of support for secular liberal movements.  There is no 
citizen state based on institutions, and no accountability. 
She recommended that (a) whoever commits wrongs needs to be 
held accountable; (b) neighboring countries need to be 
pressured not to interfere in Iraq and to stop supporting 
sectarian groups; (c) support for inclusive citizen state be 
increased; and (d) participation of women be increased. 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
Kurds: We Are Not Involved in Sectarian Dispute, But We 
Support Reconciliation 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
8. (C) Abd al-Khalaq al-Zangana (KDP) highlighted the problem 
that all of the main parties in Iraq feel they are unjustly 
treated and that a lack of trust exists between them - 
although he maintained the Kurds are not involved in the 
sectarian dispute.  He added that people need to accept that 
the one party, one sect, one nation rule is gone and that 
there are serious problems that require all Iraqis to work 
together and cooperate.  The main component of this is an 
internal front with the support of international and regional 
9. (C) The member statements and recommendations fell largely 
along party and sectarian lines and revealed how stark the 
difference in viewpoints between them can be.  Despite this, 
there was genuine collegiality and respect among the various 
CoR members and broad agreement that Iraqis themselves need 
to overcome their internal political and sectarian 
differences to deal with the serious issues confronting the 


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