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WikiLeaks: 2006-06-30: 06DUBLIN778: Iraqi Parliamentarians make their case in Ireland

by WikiLeaks. 06DUBLIN778: June 30, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 05:14 PM UT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06DUBLIN778 2006-06-30 15:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dublin
DE RUEHDL #0778/01 1811549
O 301549Z JUN 06 ZDK
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUBLIN 000778 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2016 
DUBLIN 00000778  001.4 OF 002 
Classified By: DCM Jonathan Benton for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
Summary and Comment 
1.  (U) In a June 18-24 trip sponsored by the International 
Republican Institute (IRI) and organized with embassy 
assistance, a group of Iraqi parliamentarians visited Ireland 
to learn from the Irish experience of reconciliation and to 
plead for more Irish assistance.  During this visit the group 
met with Northern Ireland's main political parties, and 
visited its fledgling Assembly.  In the Republic, the Irish 
government rolled out the red carpet.  The group provided 
testimony at an open session of the Irish parliament's 
Committee on Foreign Affairs and met with the Taoiseach (the 
Irish Prime Minister) and Deparment of Foreign Affairs 
officials. The Ambassador hosted a coffee bringing the group 
together with leading journalists and members of the local 
Iraqi community.  Their last day in Ireland was spent at the 
Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation, an NGO engaged 
in peace building in Ireland as well as in Haiti, the Middle 
East and Sri Lanka.  At Glencree, the group participated in 
reconciliation exercises and heard Glencree's description of 
the steps necessary to build peace, including the necessity 
of bringing in people on the extreme edges and victims.  The 
Iraqis were fascinated and encouraged by what they learned, 
asking Glencree if it would consider running workshops in 
Iraq.  IRI also suggested that it would like to build links 
with Glencree. 
2. (C) Comment:  From our parochial perspective, this visit 
was a smashing success.  The delegation eloquently made its 
case to doubters in the Irish parliament, while galvanizing 
the GOI to become a more active proponent within the EU of 
assistance to Iraq.  Their visit was one of the top stories 
in the evening news, with 3-4 on-air minutes.  The Irish 
Times also ran a story. As for their own goals, the 
delegation was especially satisfied with its Glencree 
training day.  All sides recognize that the Irish and Iraqi 
experiences are not parallel; still, the Iraqis were 
intrigued by what Glencree said, they participated actively, 
and they seemed to gain hope.  There is no better way to 
persuade Europeans to support Iraq than to let them hear 
directly from Iraqis courageously engaged in building their 
country.  Given the impact the group had here, we would hope 
that future visits might be expanded to include stops in 
other European capitals. 
Press opportunity 
3. (U) To raise the profile of the group's visit, the 
Ambassador invited them to a roundtable conversation with 
members of the press and the local Iraqi community.  At this 
event, former Iraqi Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi outlined 
for the audience a generally positive assessment of the 
situation in Iraq, highlighting the successful elections, 
legislative progress, and statements by the new Prime 
Minister Nouri Al-Maliki calling for the disarming of 
insurgents.  He also provided a fair assessment of the growth 
of corruption and the continued struggles to establish 
adequate Iraqi security forces.  According to Pachachi, 
violence will not subside until the Iraqis have confidence in 
their own security forces.  In terms of Iraqi determination 
to pursue democracy, he added that no Iraqi wants to return 
to leadership dominated by one leader or one group and that 
the current situation is "hard, difficult and hopeless, but 
we must persevere, there is no other option." 
4.  (U) Mr. Redha Jawad Taki, spokesman for the Supreme 
Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SCIRI) told the 
audience that the USG-led invasion and subsequent occupation 
of Iraq was legitimate under UN Security Council mandates. 
He also noted that many of the problems currently faced in 
Iraq stem from the desires of individuals, groups, and 
nations who seek to use Iraq to address grievances against 
the U.S. or the West, and the toll for this global conflict 
is paid for in innocent Iraqi blood.  He echoed Pachachi's 
call for coalition forces to stay in Iraq until Iraqi forces 
could provide adequate security for their citizens. 
Irish Parliament 
5.  (C) Those opposed to U.S. engagement in Iraq dominated 
the session in parliament, although the chairman of the 
committee and others sought to steer the conversation in a 
more positive direction and to encourage the Iraqis.  Those 
opposed to U.S. engagement cited ongoing violence in Iraq, 
the difficulty Western reporters are having getting out of 
the Green Zone to report what is "really" happening, and the 
DUBLIN 00000778  002.4 OF 002 
desire of outside countries to reap the benefits of Iraqi 
oil. Some, in a veiled reference to the U.S., alluded to 
their empathy with Iraqis who have to put up with a powerful 
outsider just as the Irish had to suffer under the British 
for 800 years.  Former FM Pachachi was especially effective. 
Rather than tangle with the parliamentarians, with dignity 
and authority, he gave an honest picture of the situation in 
Iraq, making the same points as at the ambassador's 
roundtable.  The effect was to help the committee see Iraq 
not as a desperate place mucked up by the Americans, but 
rather, as a country struggling to come to its feet, with 
U.S. assistance, and succeed as a democracy.  Following the 
formal session, the committee hosted a reception for the 
Irish Prime Minister and Department of Foreign Affairs 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
6.  (C) The meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was primarily 
a photo op, but we understand the Taoiseach asked the 
delegation's help in finding Margaret Hassan's body and fully 
investigating the murder.  At the DFA, the delegation met 
with the Anglo-Irish section to discuss lessons of the Irish 
peace process and with the Middle East section to review the 
situation in Iraq.  The State Secretary hosted a lunch. 
According to a DFA official, the GOI was very pleased with 
the visit, feeling that the delegation helped give parliament 
a different perspective on the situation in Iraq.  The GOI 
itself was pleased by the amount of press coverage, and by 
how harmoniously the delegation was.  Given stories out of 
Iraq, they had not expected that such a diverse group of 
parliamentarians would have gotten on so well together and 
avoided one upmanship. Asked the effect of the delegation on 
the GOI, this official said that Ireland wants to "put all 
its eggs in the basket of this government to try to make it 
work," and to be with those in the EU who want to do all they 
can to help in reconstruction.  He noted, however, the 
ongoing quandary of how to provide reconstruction assistance 
in the current security environment. 
Iraqi Delegation 
7. (U) The Iraqi delegation included: 
--Adnan Pachachi, former Iraqi Foreign Minister and 
ex-president of the former Iraqi Governing Council. 
--Nawzad S. Rifat, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 
--Luay Abdullah Al-Saidy, Iraqi National Accord 
--Rafe H. Chiad Al-Eissawi, Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party 
--Redha Jawad Taki, Supreme Council for the Islamic 
Revolution of Iraq 
--Saedi I.A. Barzinji, Kurdistan Democratic Party 
--Yonadam Y. Kanna, Assyrian Democratic Movement 
--Zuhair M. A. Rushid, Kurdistan Islamic Union 
--Walid Al-Shahib, Islamic Dawa Party 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Visit Dublin's Classified Website: cfm 


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