Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD79, VENICE COMMUNIQUE TEXT ON ARTICLE 140
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INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
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SUBJECT: VENICE COMMUNIQUE TEXT ON ARTICLE 140
¶1. During a January 9 meeting with Ambassador Crocker,
Italian Ambassador to Iraq Maurizio Melani mentioned a
December 18-22 conference in Venice focused on Article 140.
He noted that the conference included participation by
members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives and Kurdish
National Assembly, and passed the conference's final
communique to the Ambassador. Text of the communique is
¶2. Begin text:
Venice Final Communique adopted
Upon the invitation of the International Alliance for
Justice, Mr. Bakhtiar Amin and No Peace Without Justice, in
cooperation with the Iraqi National Assembly, the Kurdistan
National Assembly-Iraq, and with the support of the Italian
Ministry for Foreign Affairs, an International Conference on
Diverse Cities and Dispute Areas was convened on 18-22
December 2007 in the historic and auspicious surroundings of
the city of Venice.
The Conference gathered Deputy Speakers and Members of both
the Iraqi Parliament and the Kurdistan Parliament,
representatives of their various political groupings,
Governors, and representatives of Provincial and City
administrators in Iraq, together with the experts and
scholars from diverse and disputed areas around the world.
The Conference built on the solid foundations of the outcomes
of the previous discussions on Practical Federalism in Iraq
held in Venice on 18-26 July 2006, in Erbil, Kurdistan-Iraq
on 10-16 July 2007 and in Rome on 26-27 September 2007, also
convened by the International Alliance for Justice and No
Peace Without Justice.
Discussions were conducted in a spirit of mutual respect,
objective analysis, dialogue and friendliness, and were
underpinned by a shared commitment to the best interests of
Iraq as a whole, with a view to discussing and resolving
complex issues by taking into account the widest variety of
positions and interests.
Within this constructive atmosphere, participants discussed
many of the problems associated with settling the political
status of disputed areas, and considered how the foundations
for long-term stability and prosperity might be built through
the careful and committed management of local diversity.
With reference to these discussions, and to the opinions
submitted and presented, participants agreed upon the
¶1. The existence of ethnic, religious, sectarian and
cultural diversities creates the necessity to believe in it
and respect it.
¶2. Acknowledge that the problem in Kirkuk is its self
determination. It,s a real problem that requires a solution
based on democracy principle, respect of human rights and
loyalty to Iraq within a new democratic, federal and unified
¶3. The problem must be divided, and a solution must be found
at the satisfaction of all parties.
¶4. Adopt dialogue, commit to national peace, reject violence
and threats in all its forms, and adopt peaceful methods to
solve problems which should be the basis for any solution.
No deviation should be allowed, under any circumstances.
¶5. Request the Iraqi political forces and groups to take
their historical responsibilities to achieve a real political
agreement that guarantees rights for all components of the
Iraqi people with its different sects and ethnicities.
¶6. The Kirkuk administration should be jointly administered
between the different ethnicities of the city: Arabs, Kurds,
Turkmen, and Chaldo-Assyrians.
¶7. Awareness should be expanded in the fields of tolerance,
federalism, by raising the facts of the present, while past
injustice should only remembered as lessons to avoid
repeating such injustice, reject disagreements, and promote
¶8. Find suitable methods to strengthen friendship and
relations of love between different ethnicities in disputed
areas, and disseminate the spirit of tolerance and
coexistence in those areas.
¶9. The comprehensive aspect of article 140 of the Iraqi
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Constitution must be stressed in its two paragraphs, one and
¶10. The need for more transparency in solving article 140 of
the constitution should be stressed.
¶11. Article 140 is the basis to deal with the problem.
Providing the appropriate atmosphere is the method to achieve
the solution as per this article.
¶12. Release all detainees who have not been convicted on any
charge, by any party detaining the, and exhort all efforts to
orient those released to carrying messages of love, peace and
tolerance amongst their communities.
¶13. Continue the normalization process and do not use issues
related to the process of normalization for political
¶14. Activate the Property Claims Commission and provide it
with necessary financial resources, judges and establish a
special Cassation Commission.
¶15. Ban demographic changes that could lead to new realities
and proceed with just treatment of previous changes.
¶16. Address (abolish) all abuses that have taken place after
9 April 2003 all over Iraq, and submit these to the legal
¶17. Take into consideration the situation in areas included
in Article 140, and not attempt to change power balances in
these areas by arming civilians.
¶18. Economic factors should be stressed and the living
standards of the citizens of diverse areas improved by
eliminating unemployment and creating job opportunities on an
equal basis for all society,s components.
¶19. Allocate an extraordinary budget and give priority to
regions with diversity.
¶20. Increase the percentage of Cheldo-Assyrian members in
the Governorate Councils and the Parliament, so as to
compensate for events of the previous elections.
¶21. Recommend the donor countries, United Nations and other
international humanitarian organizations to contribute to the
reconstruction of the city of Kirkuk and other areas covered
by article 140, and bring back life in them.
¶22. An Iraqi solution achieved according to the Constitution
and taking into account the complexity of the matter, with
the technical support of UNAMI, should be politically
supported and guaranteed by the international community, if
it is so wished by the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi parties