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WikiLeaks: 2008-10-09: 08BAGHDAD3269: Deputy Secretary Negroponte Hears Elections Law Support from Kirkuk Provincial Council Members

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD3269: October 09, 2008.

Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD3269, KIRKUK: DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE HEARS

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD3269 2008-10-09 14:11 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO2284
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3269/01 2831411
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 091411Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9880
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003269 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: KIRKUK:  DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE HEARS 
ELECTIONS LAW SUPPORT FROM KIRKUK PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEMBERS 
 
Classified By: PRT Leader Howard Keegan; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
THIS IS A PRT KIRKUK REPORTING CABLE. 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  During Deputy Secretary Negroponte's October 
4 visit to Kirkuk, local political leaders expressed support 
for the provincial elections law and denounced the removal of 
Article 50 that contained quotas for minority representation. 
 They also demonstrated support for the committee that will 
be formed under Article 24 to make recommendations on the 
Kirkuk issue.  Kurdish representatives qualified their 
support for the elections law by stating it must comply with 
the constitution, a reference to the Article 140 process to 
resolve disputed territories.  Arab representatives expressed 
support for special status for Kirkuk.  The Turkomen seek a 
framework where their security can be better guaranteed.  All 
Iraqi participants agreed that Kirkuk is a "neglected" 
province that needs a larger budget and more projects.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C) Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, accompanied 
by Ambassador Crocker, Senior Advisor Krajeski and other USG 
officials, traveled to Kirkuk on October 4 to meet Kirkuk 
province,s Governor, Provincial Council (PC) Chairman, and 
representatives from each of the blocs on the Kirkuk PC. 
Deputy Secretary Negroponte praised the members of the Kirkuk 
PC for meeting together productively -- alluding to recently 
resolved boycotts by the Arab and Turkomen blocs.  Ambassador 
Crocker encouraged Kirkuk,s leaders to work together on a 
solution for the province, stating that Kirkuk,s problems 
were not created overnight and they will not be solved 
overnight.  The U.S. delegation emphasized the goal of 
establishing a democratic, federal, and unified Iraq.  Both 
Deputy Secretary Negroponte and Ambassador Crocker asked the 
provincial leaders for their thoughts on how the improved 
security situation in the province is affecting economic 
development. 
 
-------- 
Kurds Support a Constitutional Solution 
-------- 
 
3. (C) Kirkuk Governor Abdulrahman Mustafa, a Kurdish 
independent, stated that despite political differences 
between ethnicities, disagreements in Kirkuk have not led to 
violence.  He called the description of Kirkuk as a "powder 
keg" patently false.  Commenting on the passage of the Iraqi 
provincial elections law, Governor Mustafa called it "an 
important step for reconciliation."  He did express 
disappointment that Article 50 of the elections law was 
deleted, stating: "minorities have a right to be 
represented."  The Governor reinforced the Kurdish stance 
that the Iraqi constitution is capable of solving any 
problems related to Kirkuk. 
 
4. (C) PC Chairman Rizgar Ali stated that the issue of Kirkuk 
should be solved legally through the Iraqi constitution.  He 
asked the U.S. delegation to help prevent "non-Iraqis" from 
intervening in Iraqi affairs, presumably a reference to 
Ankara.  Rizgar commented that the Iraqi government is not 
strong right now, describing it as "administrative chaos." 
In asking for U.S. assistance and partnership, Rizgar claimed 
that there are people working in the Iraqi government who do 
not want a strong Iraq. 
 
5. (C) Mohammed Kamal of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) 
and Ahmed Askari of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) 
represented the Kirkuk Brotherhood List (KBL), the Kurdish 
bloc on the Kirkuk PC.  Both expressed support for the 
recently passed provincial elections law, and decried the 
removal of Article 50.  Mohammed Kamal additionally voiced 
his support for the committee to be established under Article 
24, saying the KBL will cooperate with the committee as long 
as it operates within the constitution.  Ahmed Askari focused 
his attention on security, calling Kirkuk a secure city.  He 
said that any introduction of additional troops into the city 
will "lead to disaster and will ignite discord between the 
ethnicities."  Mohammed Kamal used Khanaqin as an example of 
what could happen if troops are introduced. 
 
-------- 
Arabs Support Elections Law and Hope for Special Status 
-------- 
 
6. (C) Sheik Abdullah Sami al-Assi and Mohammed Khalil (both 
Arab Gathering List) represented the Arab bloc of the Kirkuk 
PC.  Both Arab leaders expressed support for the provincial 
elections law and the committee to be established under 
Article 24.  Mohammed Khalil stated that the Arabs will 
cooperate with the committee in all aspects of its work. 
 
BAGHDAD 00003269  002 OF 002 
 
 
Sheik Abdullah said the Arabs believe Kirkuk must have a 
"special status" where the rights of all people are 
guaranteed.  Mohammed Khalil expressed rhetorical agreement 
with the KBL on the need to abide by the constitution.  He 
clarified this, however, by saying the Arabs support all 
articles without selection (presumably a reference to 
articles setting out central government powers) and 
commenting that the constitution is not perfect and may still 
be amended. 
 
-------- 
Turkomen Focus on Security 
-------- 
 
7. (C) Hassan Toran and Zhala Nefitchi of the Iraqi Turkmen 
Front (ITF) represented the Turkomen bloc of the Kirkuk PC. 
Both Turkomen representatives expressed support for the 
provincial elections law, and denounced the removal of 
Article 50.  Hassan Toran stated that the Turkomen will 
cooperate with the committee to be established under Article 
24, especially regarding joint administration and review of 
voter registration.  Both Hassan and Zhala expressed concern 
over security issues in the province.  Hassan Toran said that 
"Kirkuk is not a powder keg, but it isn,t rosy."  He also 
called for the removal of "non-licensed security" in Kirkuk 
and stated that the leadership and makeup of security forces 
in the province needs to reflect joint administration.  Zhala 
said that the reason security is better in the province is 
because the people have a history of social relations, in 
addition to the presence of Coalition Forces. 
 
-------- 
Christians Want Rights Guaranteed for Minorities 
-------- 
 
8. (C) Sylvana Bouya, a member of the KBL, is the lone 
Chaldo-Assyrian Christian representative on the Kirkuk PC. 
Sylvana expressed support for the new provincial elections 
law.  She stated that she was surprised and dismayed that 
Article 50 was deleted.  Sylvana said that the rights of 
minorities must be guaranteed, and the Christians must not be 
marginalized. 
 
-------- 
Kirkuk,s Economy is Improving but it,s Still Neglected 
-------- 
 
9. (C) In response to questions from Deputy Secretary 
Negroponte and Ambassador Crocker, only Governor Mustafa 
directly commented on how improving security is affecting 
Kirkuk,s economy.  The Governor said economic activity 
improved this year but the increase was "not great," and is 
mostly limited to restoring infrastructure that was 
destroyed.  Governor Mustafa also cited unemployment, saying 
Kirkuk needs increased investment to help create jobs. 
Mustafa, along with other PC members, referred to Kirkuk as a 
"neglected province" economically.  All blocs asked for U.S. 
Government assistance in securing a larger budget from the 
GOI and help obtaining projects. 
 
10.  (C) DepSec staff has cleared this cable. 
 
 
CROCKER

 



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