US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD2378


Identifier: 05BAGHDAD2378
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD2378 at
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-06-02 17:08:00
Classification: SECRET
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 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, IZ, Sunni Arab, Parliament 
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 
-- 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. 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04