US embassy cable - 04BAGHDAD221

USEB 112: DEPUTY SECRETARY'S MEETING WITH IRAQI PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI

Identifier: 04BAGHDAD221
Wikileaks: View 04BAGHDAD221 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2004-07-22 15:05:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV PTER IZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 221505Z JUL 04
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0317
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L  BAGHDAD 000221 
 
STATE FOR NEA/I 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/22/14 
TAGS:  PREL, PGOV, PTER, IZ 
SUBJECT: USEB 112: DEPUTY SECRETARY'S MEETING WITH IRAQI PRIME 
MINISTER ALLAWI 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR JOHN D. NEGROPONTE FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) 
AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY. Prime Minister Allawi told the Deputy Secretary 
that he and his counterparts in the Arab world are looking 
forward to his tour of the region.  Allawi plans to have an open 
and honest discussion with Syria about their involvement in 
Iraqi affairs.  He would like to see Interior Ministers of 
regional states work together to address border security issues. 
Allawi said he believes that the Government is making headway 
against the insurgents, and he has told those fighting the 
Interim Government that they are welcome in the political 
process on condition that they work within the law.  Planning 
for the National Conference is coming along, but logistics and 
security are proving to be obstacles.  The Deputy Secretary 
engaged Allawi on ways to use the UN General Assembly to Iraq's 
advantage, and he noted that the U.S. Congress plans to stay 
engaged in Iraq.  Allawi said prompt implementation of U.S. 
reconstruction projects is essential to easing Iraq's 
unemployment problem.  END SUMMARY. 
 
---------------------------- 
ALLAWI TO KEY ON SYRIA FIRST 
---------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Deputy Secretary Armitage met with Iraqi Prime Minister 
Ayad Allawi on July 18.  Ambassador Negroponte, Assistant 
Secretary Burns, and MNF-I Commander General Casey also attended 
the meeting.  Allawi opened the meeting by noting that he will 
leave July 19 on a trip to Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, the 
UAE, and Kuwait.  He said he believes his Arab neighbors are 
looking forward to this visit. He plans to consult with them 
extensively about Iraq's security. 
 
3. (C) Allawi said that he hopes he can reason with Bashar Al- 
Asad of Syria, but he will be open and honest about the role 
that Syria has played in the insurgency in Iraq.  He said that 
his strategy for now is to neutralize the Syrian threat because 
the bigger threat is from Iran.  Allawi plans to ask King 
Abdullah of Jordan and President Mubarak of Egypt to put 
pressure on Asad to control the "nerve center" of foreign 
fighters and resources to the insurgency in Iraq.  The Deputy 
Secretary and Allawi agreed that Asad is too weak to control the 
elements coming out of Syria.  Allawi added that there is also 
evidence that Syrians are trying to rebuild the Ba'ath party 
under another name to run for elections in January in Iraq. 
Allawi mentioned that Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon told 
Deputy PM Barham Salih that Iraq will not make any headway with 
the Syrians.  However, Allawi plans to push the Syrians and 
demonstrate to them that a stable Iraq is in their long-term 
interest. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
CONTRIBUTING TO THE UN PROTECTION FORCE 
--------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) The Deputy Secretary briefed Allawi on his discussions 
with India and Pakistan concerning assistance to Iraqi security 
forces and troop contributions for the UN protection force.  The 
Deputy Secretary told Allawi that neither he nor Secretary 
Powell could get a commitment from the Pakistanis to contribute 
troops to Iraq, noting that the GOP may not want to be the first 
Muslim country to commit troops.  Allawi offered to call 
Musharaf to discuss the issue with him, but the Deputy Secretary 
encouraged him to wait. The Deputy Secretary said that the 
Indian Government has clearly limited its offer of support to 
training Iraqis in India. 
 
--------------------------- 
DEALING WITH THE INSURGENTS 
--------------------------- 
 
5. (C) With the exception of the past few days, Allawi said that 
he thought that the Interim Government was making headway 
against the insurgents.  He told the Deputy Secretary that he 
had some discussions with insurgents and he delivered a firm 
message: "bring on violence and we will fight you; you are 
welcome in the political process, but you must work within the 
law."  The Deputy Secretary asked about the situation in Samara, 
which Allawi acknowledged is a problematic area.  Allawi 
described how he had met with Samarans with the clear message 
that unless they choose the political path, he would confront 
them.  Allawi added that the Samarans did not have too many 
demands, and those that they have can be met.  Allawi outlined 
his demands of the Samarans: 1) surrender criminals; 2) 
cooperate with the multinational forces; and 3) pass information 
to the authorities that will improve security.  He underscored 
that he has constantly emphasized that nobody is above the law 
and criminals will be punished. 
 
6. (C) Allawi told the Deputy Secretary that the IIG is working 
to ensure that essential services are provided.  U.S. 
reconstruction projects are very important because they will 
alleviate the unemployment problem Iraqis face.  Allawi has 
asked his ministers to provide weekly reports on essential 
services so that he can track improvements and publicize 
successes.  He has also asked the Minister of Health to report 
on civilian casualties caused by insurgents and the Minister of 
Electricity to report on the how the insurgents have affected 
the use of electricity in Iraq.  Allawi plans to publicize the 
reports to show Iraqis how disruptive the insurgents are to the 
Iraqis' safety, security, and well-being. 
 
----------------------- 
THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE 
----------------------- 
 
7. (C) Although the political process is moving forward and 
preparations for the National Conference are coming along, 
Allawi said that logistics such as hotel rooms, Conference 
venue, and security are key challenges.  Allawi would like to 
the see the Conference shortened to two or even one day from its 
current three days in order to ease the logistical and security 
difficulties.  He said that the Conference will either take 
place at the Convention Center or at Baghdad University. "We are 
definitely going to proceed with it," he added.  The Deputy 
Secretary underscored the importance of the Conference, adding 
that it will be a milestone for Iraq, demonstrating to Iraqis 
and the international community the GovernmentQs ability to make 
decisions and follow through on initiatives. 
 
8. (C) Allawi mentioned that Iraq is still lacking a good 
program for reconciliation and national unity but he hopes that 
the National Conference will be a starting point for 
discussions.  He added that he hopes his trip through the region 
will help with a dialogue on reconciliation.  He also wants to 
organize a meeting of the interior ministers from Iraq's 
neighbors to discuss the security situation and border security 
which will help with the same process of reconciliation. 
 
------------------------------- 
UNGA AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR IRAQ 
------------------------------- 
 
9. (C) The Deputy Secretary urged Allawi to make good use of the 
UN General Assembly session in September to talk with his 
counterparts in the Arab world and beyond.  Allawi acknowledged 
that he had not thought about UNGA, but he did not think that it 
would be particularly useful.  Instead, he proposed a meeting 
that would include G-8 countries, Egypt, Morocco, and other 
Islamic countries to specifically discuss the stability of Iraq. 
Allawi said that such a meeting could empower Iraq to send a 
message to Iran and Syria, and he thought it would be a useful 
tool to reflect on security in the region. 
 
10. (C) The meeting ended by Allawi thanking the Deputy 
Secretary for the United States' continued support.  The Deputy 
Secretary stressed the U.S. commitment to Iraq.  The U.S. is 
focused on speeding up the disbursement of funds that Congress 
appropriated for Iraq's reconstruction.  Ambassador Negroponte 
added that he and the Deputy Prime Minister met to discuss 
forming a joint U.S.-Iraqi committee that will talk about the 
best way to spend the appropriations. 
 
 
NEGROPONTE 

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