US embassy cable - 07MUSCAT414

OMANIS TELL IRAQI PRIME MINISTER MALIKI "LEAD ALL IRAQIS"

Identifier: 07MUSCAT414
Wikileaks: View 07MUSCAT414 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Muscat
Created: 2007-04-29 11:20:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL IR IZ MU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO0403
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMS #0414/01 1191120
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291120Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MUSCAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8141
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 000414 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL, IR, IZ, MU 
SUBJECT: OMANIS TELL IRAQI PRIME MINISTER MALIKI "LEAD ALL 
IRAQIS" 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Gary A. Grappo per 1.4 (B and D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Sultan Qaboos in his two-hour meeting with 
visiting Iraqi Prime Minister (PM) Nouri al-Maliki told the 
visitor that he should set aside parochial and personal 
interests to "govern all Iraqis."  The PM reviewed current 
challenges facing his government, highlighting the challenges 
of dealing with ongoing sectarian violence, an uncooperative 
Iran, failing infrastructure and still weakened economy.  He 
also expressed his regret that neither Riyadh nor Abu Dhabi 
had been willing to receive him and his delegation.  The 
Omanis were pleased with the visit and were impressed with 
al-Maliki's understanding of the issues and commitment to 
resolving them.  Nevertheless, the Omanis continue to 
question al-Maliki's ability to lead Iraq out of its current 
difficulties.  The Iraqis reportedly neither sought nor were 
offered Omani aid.  End summary. 
 
2.  (U)  A delegation of ten Iraqi government officials 
arrived in Muscat from Kuwait on April 25 for a two-day visit 
to Oman.  The delegation, led by Prime Minister Nouri 
al-Maliki, included:  Minister of Interior Jawwad al-Boulani, 
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rafi al-Isawi, National 
Security Advisor Muaffaq al-Rubai, and Sheikh Hammam Hamoudi, 
Chairman of the Council of Representative's Foreign Relations 
Committee.  The Iraqi officials were received upon arrival by 
Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmood al-Said, who 
also hosted an official dinner in honor of the Iraqi Prime 
Minister.  The centerpiece of the delegation's visit was the 
meeting with Sultan Qaboos, which was also attended by Omani 
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yusef bin Alawi, 
Minister of the Royal Office General Ali bin Majid 
al-Maamari, Minister of Justice Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdullah 
bin Zaher al-Hinai, and Foreign Ministry Under Secretary 
Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi. 
 
Excellent Visit 
--------------- 
3.  (C)  Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusef bin 
Alawi told the Ambassador April 28 that the visit of PM 
al-Maliki and accompanying delegation to Muscat had been 
"excellent."  The Omanis, he said, were impressed with 
Maliki's grasp of the issues and confidence he projected in 
addressing Iraq's security, political and economic problems. 
Maliki had appeared especially buoyed, said bin Alawi, by his 
meetings in Cairo with the Egyptian leadership as well as 
with AL Secretary General Amr Moussa (NFI). 
 
4.  (C)  The Sultan and FM, who had several on-the-margin 
meetings with the Prime Minister in motorcades to and from 
the Sultan's palace and to the airport, had but one single, 
overarching message to Maliki:  "You are Iraq's leader for 
all Iraqis; govern as one."  This meant, said bin Alawi, that 
he should shed parochial loyalties and interests in order to 
serve all Iraqis.  It was a message delivered by Sultan 
Qaboos and reiterated by bin Alawi repeatedly.  For his part, 
al-Maliki told the Omanis that security throughout Iraq had 
begun to improve and that Iraqi and American forces had 
managed to reduce violence somewhat of late.  He acknowledged 
the need to do much more to reduce sectarian violence and to 
develop an effective reconciliation process.  Recalling their 
own experience after the Dhofar rebellion of the early 
1970's, the Omanis told him that reconciliation and firm, 
unbiased leadership were the keys to reducing ultimately the 
sectarian violence in Iraq. 
 
Iranians, Infrastructure Big Worries 
------------------------------------ 
5.  (C)  Al-Maliki told the Omanis that he was both angry 
with and concerned about Iranian interference in Iraq.  They 
showed no interest, he said, in helping Iraq solve its 
problems or working with the Iraqi government.  Instead, he 
reported to the Omanis, they are meddling and creating 
problems "in all areas" for the Iraqi government.  As 
evidence of Iranian lack of cooperation, al-Maliki said that 
when he took off from Baghdad several weeks ago on his way to 
South Korea, the Iranians cancelled the previously granted 
overflight clearance and ordered his aircraft to return to 
Baghdad. 
 
6.  (C)  Iraq continues to suffer from poor infrastructure, 
al-Maliki told the Omanis.  He cited electricity, water, 
wastewater treatment and hospital care as especially severe. 
Nevertheless, he also reported that there had been 
improvements in these and other areas since the overthrow of 
Saddam Hussein, just neither enough not fast enough. 
However, he claimed, the biggest economic problems were 
unemployment and low income, which exacerbated the sectarian 
strife and violence. 
 
MUSCAT 00000414  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
Rejected by Saudi Arabia, UAE 
----------------------------- 
7.  (C)  Bin Alawi confirmed that the Iraqi PM had planned to 
visit Riyadh and Abu Dhabi after Muscat.  However, al-Maliki 
told the Omanis that the Saudis and Emiratis "never 
responded" to the Iraqi request to visit.  Bin Alawi could 
not explain the UAE's rejection, but opined that Saudi 
contempt for Maliki had become "serious" and that the Saudis 
were beginning to see the Iraqi PM not only as ineffective 
but also harmful to Iraq's and Saudi Arabia's long term 
interests. 
 
No Aid Requests 
--------------- 
8.  (C)  Minister bin Alawi said that the Iraqis did not 
request Omani assistance "in any form" and the Omanis 
volunteered none.  In response to the Ambassador's query 
regarding Iraqi difficulties with Iran, bin Alawi said the 
Iraqis did not ask for Oman's help.  Bin Alawi also told the 
Ambassador that if asked, Oman would consider such a request 
seriously.  He explained, however, that Iranian-GCC relations 
were "complicated" at present and he could not be sure that 
an approach by the Omanis would serve Iraq in the end.  The 
Omanis and Iraqis did not discuss the change in U.S. strategy 
in Iraq or the ongoing debates on Iraq in the U.S. Congress. 
 
Comment 
------- 
9.  (C)  Al-Maliki was starting in a hole with the Omanis, 
who had harbored the same doubts about his leadership and 
intentions as other GCC states.  Therefore, bin Alawi's 
judgment of the visit as excellent may be taken as 
effectively meaning; "he wasn't as bad as we thought."  In 
fact, bin Alawi made clear that the reason the Omanis 
received the Iraqis was because of Secretary Rice's request 
to bin Alawi last fall that the Omanis do so.  Nevertheless, 
he appeared to be sincere in his praise of the visit and of 
al-Maliki. 
GRAPPO 

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