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WikiLeaks: 2008-07-19: 08BAGHDAD2241: Ninewa: KRG-affiliated Assyrian Leaders, Shabak Reps Highlight Threats and Opportunities

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD2241: July 19, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 03:59 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD2241, NINEWA: KRG-AFFILIATED ASSYRIAN LEADERS, SHABAK

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD2241 2008-07-19 10:45 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO1570
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2241 2011045
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191045Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8380
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 002241 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KIRF ECON EPET ENRG PTER IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA: KRG-AFFILIATED ASSYRIAN LEADERS, SHABAK 
REPS HIGHLIGHT THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES 
 
Classified By: Ninewa PRT Leader Alex Laskaris, Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 
 
This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) message. 
 
1.  (C) As part of an ongoing outreach effort to minority 
communities in Ninewah Province, PRT leader met separately 
with two prominent Assyrian Christians and four Shabak 
political activists.  All were concerned about threats to 
their communities and sought continued USG engagement on the 
way forward. 
 
2.  (C) PRT members accepted a lunch invitation at the 
Bartalla home of prominent Assyrian businessman George Kako 
on July 16.  We were joined by Fr. Aiman Danna, an Assyrian 
Catholic priest.  Earlier on the same day, we met four Shabak 
members of the Supreme Council of Iraqi Muslims (ISCI), led 
by Bartala Branch Chairman Abu Zeneb.  The others were 
Provincial Council members Muhammed Ibrahim Ali, Adnan Jafar 
and Mahmoud Muhammed Hussein. 
 
3.(C) Kako and Danna cited high rates of migration, induced 
both by intimidation and lack of economic opportunities, as 
threats to the future of their community.  (Note:  They said 
that Bartala is a town of 15,000 people, of whom some 12,000 
are Assyrian Catholics.)  They communicated their opposition 
to UN envoy de Mistura, both to the substance of his 
proposals as well as to his mandate to consider the issue of 
disputed internal boundaries.  Both made clear that they 
believe their community,s interests are best served by 
alignment with the KRG.  (Pointing out a late model BMW on 
his compound, Kako said it belonged to KRG Finance Minister 
Sarkis Aghajan.) 
 
4.  (C) The conversation with Abu Zeneb and his colleagues 
was a much broader two-hour discussion of the Iraqi 
landscape.  While the discussed their party and its desire to 
participate in elections and subsequent democratic 
governance, they did not self-identify as Shabak.  We spent 
the morning discussing the state of education, the impact of 
violence on childhood development, and the economic prospects 
of the rising generation. They communicated their vision of a 
democratic Iraq in which they said they hope to be 
stakeholders. 
 
5.  (C) PRT Comment:  The minority communities within Ninewah 
Province are heterogeneous between and among themselves, 
especially on politically divisive questions like their 
relationship with the KRG.  PRT Ninewah is preparing a 
comprehensive minority outreach strategy whose initial goal 
is ensuring that we reach out to all who wish to speak to us, 
always bearing in mind that the act of engaging the PRT and 
our regimental and division partners is inherently dangerous 
to our interlocutors.  Thanks to swift action on the part of 
Embassy Baghdad,s PD section, we were able to offer Kako ) 
on very short notice ) a voluntary visitor program in the 
US.  This is an invaluable tool in our engagement, one that 
we will integrate into our broader efforts.  End comment. 
 
CROCKER

 



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