|Wikileaks:||View 05BAGHDAD2378 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PGOV KDEM IZ Sunni Arab Parliament|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T BAGHDAD 002378 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2015 TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, IZ, Sunni Arab, Parliament SUBJECT: RECOMMENDED S CALLS TO SUPPORT SUNNI INCLUSION Classified By: CDA DAVID M. SATTERFIELD FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (S) Embassy recommends that the President call PM Jaferi and the Secretary make phone calls to President Talabani, Vice President Adil Abd al-Mehdi, and TNA Speaker Hachim al-Hasani to press for a effective and rapid inclusion of Sunni Arabs in the constitution drafting process. 2. (S) Septel describes the June 2 meeting that brought together Sunni representatives with members of the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) Constitutional Committee. The meeting was chaired by Committee vice chair Ahmed al Janabi, himself a Sunni member of the TNA. The atmosphere was good, but the only result was an agreement that the Committee and the Sunni representatives would hold separate caucuses on June 5 to settle the issues of how to select Sunni representatives, their number and their rights as members of the TNA committee. The two groups would then meet again June 9 to close the deal. 3. (S) Based on the track record of delay and unforeseen complications overcoming good intentions in the Iraqi political process and the approaching Constitutional deadlines, we think it time for the phone calls noted in para 1. President Talabani can influence Constitution Committee Deputy Chairman Fuad Ma'asum, who is also in the PUK. Talabani in the past has made strong pitches to us about including Sunnis in the political process, and it is important that he sustain that position into the final shaping of the constitutional drafting body. 4. (S) Vice President Adil Abd al-Mehdi can influence Consitution Committee Chairman Humam al-Hammudi, who is also in SCIRI, and SCIRI leader Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim. He is therefore an appropriate level of government for S to contact, and also enables us to contact Abd al Mahdi's political boss, SCIRI leader Abd al Aziz al Hakim. Given Abd al Mahdi's relative moderation, it is also useful to strengthen his prestige by making him the recipient of an S call. SCIRI regularly says the right things, but at times its position, and those of other Shia Islamists impedes inclusion of Sunni Arab representatives who have real weight in their community. It is important that Abdel al-Mehdi urge his own people to be realistic and flexible and not to drag the process out. 5. (S) Hasani has oversight over the National Assembly and can keep the body focused on its most important mission. He is supportive of the concept of Sunni inclusdion, but it would be useful to remind him that the Sunni Arab community needs to develop. He is also touchy enough about his position to be unhelpful if he feels left out. 6. (S) The Charge will complement these contacts with another round of meetings with Constitutional Committee Chair Hamoudi, his party boss, SCIRI leader Hakim, and Janabi. 7. (S) Suggested Talking Points for Secretary's Calls: -- Congratulations on your continued progress in the Constitutional process. -- The talks of June 2 were a useful step in bringing credible, moderate Sunni representatives into the process. -- We support every effort to bring Sunni Arabs to the drafting table as equal partners. -- We are concerned that this be done in a manner that respects the right of Sunni Arabs to choose their own representatives. -- We are also concerned that this process not be unnecessarily time-consuming and divisive. -- Meeting the August 15 deadline is vital to maintaining the momentum of the political process into elections at the end of the year. Satterfield
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