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WikiLeaks: 2007-12-18: 07BAGHDAD4115: Ninewa: Kurds and Arabs a Long Way from Dialogue as Article 140 Deadline Looms, but Both Sides Recognize Risks of Confrontation

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD4115: December 18, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD4115, NINEWA: KURDS AND ARABS A LONG WAY FROM DIALOGUE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD4115 2007-12-18 13:54 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO4865
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4115/01 3521354
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181354Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4919
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004115 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SECSTATE FOR USAID 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PBTS PREL KDEM PHUM MARR IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA: KURDS AND ARABS A LONG WAY FROM DIALOGUE 
AS ARTICLE 140 DEADLINE LOOMS, BUT BOTH SIDES RECOGNIZE 
RISKS OF CONFRONTATION 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 4107 
 
Classified By: Ninewa PRT Leader Jason Hyland:  1.4 (B) and (D). 
 
This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) message. 
 
1. (C/REL ACGU) Summary: In a series of meetings on Article 
140 with many influential Ninewa political figures on 
December 10-11, Special Advisor David Pearce heard unanimous 
support for continued USG engagement on the issue but 
agreement on little else.  While Kurds favored implementation 
of what they see as a constitutional process, Arabs called 
for patience to establish local security and balance out 
provincial representation.  In each meeting, Pearce stressed 
that the USG supports a "fair, transparent, agreed process" 
in which each side in the negotiations may walk away with a 
non-optimal solution.  He urged the sides to tone down their 
rhetoric and work together before the end of the year to 
agree at least on a process to announce the inevitable delay 
of the constitutionally stipulated referendum by the end of 
2007.  Pearce said the danger of ignoring the December 31 
deadline and the need to resolve the status of disputed 
territories is that the insurgency continues to gain strength 
from these unresolved territorial questions.  He said new UN 
Special Representative for Iraq Staffan de Mistura could be a 
useful counterpart for all sides.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C/REL ACGU) Ninewa Vice Governor and Kurdish Democratic 
Party (KDP) head Khasro Goran said his party foresees the 
largely Kurdish and Yezidi Sinjar District as the most 
contentious disputed territory in the province, largely 
because any decision on the area would either leave an island 
of Kurds in Sinjar or create an island of Sunni Arabs around 
Rabia'a.  He said it would be difficult to split the city of 
Mosul, and expected it would remain the unified capital of 
any future Ninewa Province.  He stressed that the KDP wants 
to see conclusion of the Article 140 process before 
provincial elections so that "we would know how and where to 
vote."  His four-part suggestion for USG engagement on 
Article 140 included USG recognition that the process will 
not result in war, clarification of USG intentions, USG 
effort to meet all factions, and heavy USG engagement in 
western Ninewa. 
 
3. (C/REL ACGU) Sarbast Amur Terwaneshi, the Sinjar KDP 
leader ) who wields enormous clout in this sensitive region 
- said about two-thirds of the 317,000 Sinjar residents are 
Kurds who supported the vote on the Iraqi constitution and 
who would support Sinjar joining the Kurdistan Regional 
Government.  He said the Kurds in Sinjar would not try to 
take any land by force from the Arab residents.  Sarbast said 
the KDP has no interest in the predominantly Arab 
sub-districts of Buleij or Rabia'a joining the KRG. 
 
4. (C/REL ACGU) Dr. Mohammad Shakir, the head of the Ninewa 
chapter of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) and IIP politburo 
member, said provincial elections, enforcement of local 
security and a census must happen before the Article 140 
process can be implemented.  He said he is willing to engage 
in the political process, which his party's largely Sunni 
Arab constituents boycotted in 2005, and cited recent attacks 
on the party's members as evidence of the continued 
opposition to this engagement among some Sunni Arabs in the 
province.  Shakir said the Kurds undermine their own security 
by trying to annex as much land as possible, sometimes by 
force.  He argued that the Kurds should participate in "a 
country of institutions, of a constitution," in which the USG 
or the United Nations plays a leading role in organizing 
transparent elections.  Shakir said he meets regularly with 
Goran to discuss security and Article 140 issues. 
 
5. (C/REL ACGU) Abdullah Al Yawr, an influential sheikh who 
leads one branch of the Shammar tribe from his home in 
Rabia'a, said his tribe has no problem with the Kurds in 
general but that the KDP is fomenting instability in Ninewa. 
He complained that the KDP's control of Provincial Governor 
Duraid Kashmoula, the Provincial Council and the provincial 
election commission guarantees that non-Kurds will be unable 
to challenge the Kurds in any vote on disputed territories. 
Despite the lack of political avenues to express Arab 
desires, Abdullah said he would refuse to allow "even a 
meter" of Ninewa land to join the Kurds.  Minor sheikhs 
associated with Abdullah presented specific complaints of 
Iraqi Army harassment and intimidation that they blamed on 
Kurdish Peshmerga and Assayish influence within the army. 
 
BAGHDAD 00004115  002 OF 002 
 
 
Abdullah said he plans to meet Goran later in December to 
discuss Arab-Kurdish relations. 
 
6. (C/REL ACGU) Governor Kashmoula said he maintains good 
relations with everyone in Ninewa, but disparaged the popular 
strength of many Sunni Arab leaders, including Shaker and 
Abdullah.  He said the IIP lacks strong political support, 
with the majority of Sunni Arabs in Mosul either actively 
supporting the insurgency or observing the political 
wrangling over Article 140 without getting involved (Note: in 
the last election held, December 2005 for the Council of 
Representatives, the IIP won over 40% of the vote in Ninewa). 
 The governor said Abdullah and the Shammar tribe fear 
Article 140 will take away some of their land but lack 
widespread popular support. 
 
7. (C/REL ACGU) Tel Keif Mayor Basem Belo, a politburo member 
of the Assyrian Democratic Party (Christian), complained that 
his constituency is weak and seeks to maintain the integrity 
of an Iraq that guards minority rights.  However, he 
complained that neither the Kurds nor the Iraqi national 
government is doing enough to guarantee Christian economic 
prosperity in the rush to grab as much land as possible 
before implementation of the Article 140 process.  Belo said 
the Christians in his area would prefer to use the Article 
125 process to create a Christian homeland in the Ninewa 
Plain region.  He also said other Christians, in the 
Bartallah area east of Mosul, are more favorable than he 
toward joining the KRG. 
 
8. (C/REL ACGU) Comment: Kurds and Arabs in Ninewa do not 
have a coherent structure in place to discuss security and 
coordination in the province, much less the wider issues of 
disputed territories or implementation of the Article 140 
process.  We will continue to follow up with each of the 
major political players to reinforce Pearce's comments on the 
need for dialogue, compromise and an agreed process for 
announcing what the next steps will be after December 31. End 
Comment. 
CROCKER

 



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