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WikiLeaks: 2007-07-28: 07BAGHDAD2497: DCM Meetings with Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA) Chairman and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of the Interior

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD2497: July 28, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 05:44 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD2497, DCM MEETINGS WITH KURDISTAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD2497 2007-07-28 16:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO5006
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2497/01 2091637
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281637Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2487
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002497 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: IZ KPAL PGOV PREF
SUBJECT: DCM MEETINGS WITH KURDISTAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 
(KNA) CHAIRMAN AND KURDISTAN REGIONAL GOVERNMENT (KRG) 
MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR 
 
This is a Kurdistan Regional Reconstruction Team (RRT) cable. 
 
1.  Summary: (SBU) Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Butenis held 
separate meetings in Erbil on July 22 with Kurdistan National 
Assembly (KNA) Chairman Adnan Mufti and Kurdistan Regional 
Government (KRG) Minister of Interior (MOI) Karim Sinjari. 
DCM stressed the need for concrete progress on reconciliation 
and other major issues in order to retain Congressional and 
US public support. Both Mufti and Sinjari blamed Sunni 
intransigence for the inability of the Government of Iraq 
(GOI) to move ahead on reconciliation. Mufti's deputy hinted 
at possible violence if Article 140 is not implemented on 
schedule, while MOI Sinjari indicated that a postponement of 
the Referendum may be possible if there is tangible progress 
on the process. Mufti and Sinjari called for closer 
cooperation between the KRG and the US, but Sinjari rejected 
a recent US request to allow 60 Palestinian families to 
reside temporarily in the KRG.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (U) DCM Butenis, accompanied by Office of Provincial 
Affairs (OPA) Director Clarke, Regional Reconstruction Team 
(RRT) Erbil Deputy Team Leader Baily, IPAO, and EMBOFFs held 
meetings with Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA) Chairman 
Adnan Mufti and Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of the 
Interior Karim Sinjari during a 22 July visit to Erbil. 
 
KNA SPEAKER MUFTI MEETING: KRG WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A US 
CONSULATE 
 
3.  (U) At the Mufti meeting, other KNA members present 
included an Assyrian Christian, a Turkoman, and Kemal 
Kurkukli, the deputy KNA speaker.  Mufti opened by noting 
that the KRG wanted to work closely with the US Government, 
"in all aspects," and to this end would like to see a US 
Consulate established in Erbil. 
 
DCM: CONTINUED US SUPPORT TO IRAQ DEPENDENT ON PROGRESS ON 
MAJOR ISSUES 
 
4.  (SBU) The DCM responded hat it is hard to maintain the 
American people's support for our work when it appears that 
each group in Iraq only wants to maintain its own position ) 
it is difficult for Americans to understand, she said, why 
there is no agreement on the major issues before the 
government. Mufti answered that the problems in Iraq go back 
to the country's creation, which he called "a mistake" 
carried out by foreigners, after which authority remained in 
the hands of the Sunnis for 80 years.  Now the Sunnis have 
lost power, but many ex-Baathists "want to go back" to the 
old regime, even though it is impossible. 
 
KRG CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE 140 
 
5. (SBU) Asked about the status of the KRG Constitution, 
Mufti said that the draft has been completed and a 19 member 
committee is reviewing public comments on it.  The Committee, 
he said, is in not in a great hurry to finish.  According to 
Mufti, ratification of the Constitution will be postponed 
until after Article 140 is implemented.  Mufti added that 
Article 140 "should not be delayed(it is in the 
Constitution." 
 
6. (SBU) Deputy KNA Chairman Kemal Kirkukli stated that 
Ambassador Negroponte had endorsed in writing a "timely 
implementation" for Article 140.  Kirkukli also claimed that 
the "majority of residents in the Article 140 area," 
including the ethnic and religious minorities, support the 
referendum, with the exception of a "tiny pocket of 
Turkomans" that was associated with the Baathist Party. 
Kirkukli expressed disappointment that former US Ambassador 
Khalilizad had proposed a delay in Article 140 implementation 
at the UN.  If Article 140 is not implemented, Kirkukli said, 
it will cause serious problems, "too significant for us to 
control," and could lead to "terrorism." 
 
KRG ACTIONS TO STEM HONOR KILLINGS 
 
7.  (SBU) DCM Butenis then asked about PM Barzani's recent 
condemnation of "honor killings" as murder.  Mufti replied 
that honor killings of women are an issue in the KRG, and 
have been on the rise recently.  One reason for this increase 
is the increased freedom that women have in Kurdish society, 
which is "not accepted by some."   He noted that the KRG has 
eliminated a Baathist law that absolved perpetrators of honor 
killings, and has also made efforts to settle issues "between 
families" in order to help avoid honor killings.  He added 
that Kurdish religious leaders had recently made an 
announcement opposing honor killings. 
 
8.  (SBU)  The meeting closed with Mufti asking that the US 
"not get too caught up in security in Kurdistan(you need to 
 
BAGHDAD 00002497  002 OF 002 
 
 
get out and be seen in the media(just going to see President 
Barzani is not enough." 
 
MEETING WITH MOI SINJARI: SECURITY SITUATION 
 
9.  (SBU) The day's second meeting, with KRG Minister of the 
Interior Karim Sinjari, was also attended by Minster Falah 
Mustafa Bakir, head of the Foreign Relations Department. 
Minister Sinjari opened by repeating a common KRG theme, that 
people think "all of Iraq is like Baghdad," when in fact the 
KRG is "stable and okay." He added, however, that terrorist 
operate openly in Kirkuk and Mosul, and that terrorists have 
been leaving Diyala and other areas under heavy Coalition 
Forces' pressure and moving to locales such as Bayji and 
Hawija, the "Zab area" where the US and GOI presence is less. 
 
10.  (SBU) The terrorists, he said, continue trying to 
infiltrate the KRG.  Despite the KRG's success in combating 
them, they are still sometimes successful, and the KRG would 
like more assistance to counter them.  Sinjari described 
Mosul as an especially good operational base for terrorists 
due to its population's Arab Nationalist and Wahabiist 
sympathies, and its proximity to Syria and the corridor south 
to Tikrit and Anbar. 
 
KRG NIXES PRM REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY STAY BY PALESTINIANS 
 
11.  (SBU) The DCM asked Sinjari if the KRG had responded to 
a recent request from the State Department's Refugee (PRM) 
Bureau to allow a group of 60 Palestinian families from other 
parts of Iraq to reside temporarily in the KRG until their 
processing for third country resettlement is completed. 
Sinjari stated that the KRG had "answered this question 
several times" and had not changed its earlier negative 
responses. He cited security and political reasons for this 
decision, claiming that the Palestinians are closely 
associated with "Sadr and former Baathists." 
 
ARTICLE 140: POSTPONEMENT POSSIBLE 
 
12. (SBU) Concerning Article 140 and the possibility of 
postponement, Sinjari said that he wants Article 140 
Implementation to happen, but if everything "stays like now" 
and no progress is made on the preparatory work, "it will be 
a big problem."  Postponement would only be a possibility if 
the people can at least "see some progress" being made toward 
an eventual referendum, he said. 
 
US BASES IN KURDISTAN AND PROGRESS ON BENCHMARKS 
 
13.  (SBU) The DCM asked how Sinjari saw Iraq and the KRG a 
year from now.  Sinjari responded that the "best outcome" 
would be a federal state.  The Sunnis, he said, were spoiled 
by their earlier monopoly on power ) they want to get power 
back.  They must come to understand that the old situation is 
finished.  When they understand that, then they can 
reconcile.  He added that the US is talking to the wrong 
people ) the US typically forgets tribal leaders and other 
traditional leaders, he said, who "often have influence with 
the Sunnis and want normal lives."  Minister Bakir added that 
the US should change its strategy to focus on securing a few 
bases, "in Kurdistan, and Central and Southern Iraq," to let 
keep Iraq's neighbors in check, while the Iraqi forces did 
the "street fighting." 
 
14.  (SBU) DCM closed by noting that the future role of US 
forces depends not only on President Bush's policy, but also 
on continued Congressional and public support.  Concrete 
evidence is needed, she said, of political reconciliation, 
especially since the various benchmark formulations have 
entered the US public consciousness.  She noted that we do 
not think, for example, that a Kurd-Shia alliance excluding 
Sunnis is a good idea.  Sunnis must be included. 
 
15.  (SBU) COMMENT: Although most of Sinjari and Mufti's 
comments reiterated positions we had heard before, Sinjari's 
refusal to consider State/PRM's recent resettlement request 
for a small group of Palestinians was surprising, since 
Sinjari had seemed receptive during an earlier meeting when 
this proposal was originally presented.  Sinjari's position 
on a possible postponement of Article 140 is another sign 
that some parts of the KRG leadership may be willing to 
consider an Article 140 postponement in the right 
circumstances. END COMMENT. 
BUTENIS

 



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