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WikiLeaks: 2008-05-21: 08BAGHDAD1575: Maliki Voices Support for Religious Minorities

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD1575: May 21, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 01:30 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD1575, MALIKI VOICES SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD1575 2008-05-21 14:47 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO9818
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1575 1421447
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211447Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7480
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 001575 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2018 
TAGS: IZ KIRF PGOV PHUM PREL
SUBJECT: MALIKI VOICES SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS MINORITIES 
 
Classified By: By Deputy Political Counselor Ellen Germain for reasons 
1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1.  (SBU)  Prime Minister Maliki received a delegation of 
mostly Christian representatives and spoke out in support of 
Iraq's religious minorities during his May 16 visit to Mosul 
to inspect the ongoing Umm-al-Rabe'ayn operation to root out 
al-Qaida elements. His unprecedented statements were 
highlighted in a press release from his media office (see 
text in para 3).  According to the press release, in his 
meeting with the delegation, Maliki emphasized that 
Christians are an integral part of Iraq and threatened severe 
punishment for those who harm them.  He also promised more 
economic development and services in the area. Maliki 
appealed to minorities to join the Iraqi armed forces and to 
the Christian community to be loyal to Iraq, stressing that 
the GOI will steadfastly support religious freedom and the 
rule of law in Iraq. 
 
2.  (C) The Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) mayor of Tel 
Keif, Basem Belo told PRT Ninewa that the idea for the 
meeting was initiated by Shabak Council of Representatives 
member Hunain al-Qado, who had contacted several minority 
groups in advance to try to encourage them to come to Mosul 
for the Maliki meeting.  (Note:  Since the meeting was 
initiated by a Shabak CoR member, it was not entirely a 
meeting with Christians, but rather a meeting of religious 
minorities, probably dominated by Christians.  End note.) 
Belo said he had used the opportunity of a UNAMI meeting at 
the PRT on the same day, which is adjacent to the Iraqi Army 
base, where the PM's meeting was held, as an opportunity to 
meet with the PM.  The ADM delegation included several 
members from across Ninewa province, including the villages 
in Tel Keif and al-Hamdaniya.  Belo said the group discussed 
Christian participation in the Iraqi Security Forces in the 
Ninewa Plain. 
 
 
3.  (U)  Begin text of unofficial translation of the May 16, 
2008 press release from the Media Office of the Office of the 
Prime Minister:  (Note:  The translation was provided by the 
Prime Minister's Media Office.  End Note) 
 
Prime Minister Nouri Kamel al-Maliki said that the Christians 
are known as advocates of peace and love and they have stuck 
to the land of Iraq and never advocated violence.  Whoever is 
targeting them would commit then a doubled crime and we shall 
face them strongly.  The operation Umm al-Rabi'ayn (city of 
two springs:  Mosul) will continue until the situation 
becomes stable and closed roads and bridges are opened.  We 
will work to develop services and increase the amounts 
allocated for building, reconstruction and investment. 
 
During his meeting with a delegation from the Christian 
community in Mosul at his residence in Ninewa operation 
command today, the PM stressed that operation Umm al-Rabi'ayn 
aims at ending the suffering of Mosul people, including 
Christians who are a rose in Mosul's garden.  PM also added, 
"we have many solutions to re-impose law and return the 
families displaced of different affiliations.  We want the 
sons of Christians, Shabaks, and Yazids to join the armed 
forces.  Iraqis must understand that today they are fighting 
ideologies, methods and ways of Baath which wore a dress of 
al-Qaeda.  Their dreams of the return will never be achieved." 
 
PM called on the Christian community to uphold the homeland, 
not bow to threats and blackmail.  PM said that the 
government will stand along side whoever is subjected to 
persecution and oppression until matters are back to normal, 
religious freedom and places of worship are respected, and 
the rule of law is all over Iraq.  Earlier today, PM had met 
with a delegation from the people of Tall Afar city. 
 
End text. 
 
CROCKER

 



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