US embassy cable - 06MOSUL13

LIBERATION AND RECONCILIATION NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DELEGATE CLAIMS PLAN FOR INVESTMENT IN NINEWA

Identifier: 06MOSUL13
Wikileaks: View 06MOSUL13 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: REO Mosul
Created: 2006-02-14 14:24:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ ECON PINT National Assembly
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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSUL 000013 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/14/2016 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, ECON, PINT, National Assembly 
SUBJECT: LIBERATION AND RECONCILIATION NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DELEGATE 
CLAIMS PLAN FOR INVESTMENT IN NINEWA 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron  Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (C) According to newly elected national assembly delegate 
Sheikh Mohammed Khalaf of the Reconciliation and Liberation 
Bloc, Iraq's new federal government needs to be more inclusive 
by "reaching out" to all parties in the country.  Khalaf said he 
would work hard to help issues of unemployment and security in 
Ninewa.  He said he believes basic services, such as clean water 
and paved roads, need to be addressed or he and other colleagues 
in the national assembly would be looking for new work come next 
election.  Khalaf said he would like to lure international 
technology and automobile companies to the province to create 
jobs and allow Iraq to communicate better with the world 
economy.  Khalaf suggested an end to de-Baathification so that 
former members of the regime could "participate" in the 
democratic process.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) REO Poloff met with national assembly delegate Sheikh 
Mohammed Khalaf Hasan and assistant Sulaiman Shaheen from the 
Reconciliation and Liberation Bloc (#516) in Qaraqosh on 
February 10.  Sheikh Khalaf is a member of the Al Juburi tribe 
and resides in Quyarrah district in Ninewa.  He claimed to have 
worked behind the scenes of a failed coup and assassination 
attempt by the Al Juburi tribe against Saddam Hussein in 1991. 
He claimed he and a fellow #516 member, Mashaan Al Juburi, 
sought and received refuge from current President Jalal Talabani 
in Iraqi Kurdistan shortly after.  Khalaf said he was 
interrogated by Saddam Kamel (son-in-law to Hussein) and Qusay 
(Hussein's son) and set free, where he returned to Ninewa to 
continue his work as a professor of agricultural engineering at 
Mosul University's Hamam Al Halil agriculture college.  Khalaf 
later served in the Iraqi government council as an independent 
from 1996 to 1999. 
 
------------------------------------ 
"REACHING OUT" IN THE NEW GOVERNMENT 
------------------------------------ 
 
3.  (C) Khalaf said the key to the new central government's 
success will be how well all sides "reach out" to each other. 
He said the new government should be representative of all, not 
just "one group."  Khalaf said he fears "sectarian parties" 
since he believes they tend to discriminate against those who do 
not share their beliefs.  However, he said he realizes Shias are 
the majority in Iraq and would do his best to work with them 
"without prejudice."  Poloff asked Khalaf if his experience with 
Talabani when he was "in hiding" endeared him to the Kurds. 
Khalaf said he has always been "sympathetic" to the Kurds, but 
that he does "not support everything they do."  He suggested the 
way to have better relations among ethnic groups is that the 
nation needed to move beyond "revenge" and realize past 
grievances should be forgiven.  Khalaf said, however, many of 
his colleagues and constituents do not share his liberal view. 
 
----------------------- 
ADDRESSING UNEMPLOYMENT 
----------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Khalaf said the most important issue affecting Iraq 
today is security.  He said besides this problem, the new 
central government should concentrate on three important areas: 
clean water, electricity, and paved roads.  He said if the 
problem with lack of basic services is not addressed he and his 
colleagues would be looking for new jobs come next election. 
Khalaf said high unemployment has contributed to discontent and 
terrorism.  Khalaf felt more should be done to invest in 
Ninewa's college graduates.  He said since 1987 many have not 
been employed, "wasting the investment" that the country has 
made.  Khalaf said he would work to create an office where 
recent graduates could go to seek employment and receive 
training while waiting for jobs to open up.  This, according to 
Khalaf, would also help keep young people from slipping into 
nefarious activities such as terrorism and petty crime. 
 
----------------------------- 
BRINGING INVESTMENT TO NINEWA 
----------------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Poloff asked Khalaf if he had any ideas on how to create 
jobs for the graduates, as well as help attract private 
investment to the province.  Khalaf said he has several ideas to 
help Ninewa.  The first, he said, would be to attract high-tech 
companies to build a plant in the province.  He said there are 
many engineers who are "ready to work" and the investment would 
"improve communications technology" as well.  Khalaf said Ninewa 
is "very fertile" and that more resources should be dedicated to 
farming.  He suggested luring an automobile company, from the 
U.S. or other country, to build an assembly plant in Ninewa.  He 
said such a factory would create jobs as well as allow for cars 
to be more affordable.  Lastly, Khalaf said Iraq should have 
more oil refineries to produce and refine its own oil instead of 
buying it from neighboring countries. 
 
---------------------------- 
DE-BAATHIFICATION SHOULD END 
---------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Khalaf said one point he would try to push in the new 
national government would be to find ways to include former 
Baathists in the democratic process.  Khalaf said he believes 
de-Baathification has "done nothing" but marginalize a segment 
of the population by keeping them from participating in 
democracy.  He said the de-Baathification process has 
"contributed to terrorism" since they are "left out of Iraq's 
future."  He said that more should be done to bring them in 
before the "problem worsens." 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7.  (C) This was our first encounter with Sheikh Khalaf and the 
Reconciliation and Liberation Bloc in Ninewa.  We came away with 
a good impression of Khalaf and can assume he is somewhat of a 
pragmatist who has the best intentions of his constituents and 
his country in mind.  However, he must work within the confines 
of a constituency that does not necessarily share his liberal 
attitudes towards Shias and Kurds.  For instance, Khalaf said 
party leader Mashaan Al Juburi led the coalition's campaign 
speaking out against USG and CF presence in Iraq, referring to 
them as "occupiers."  To his credit, Khalaf told Poloff he did 
not agree with Al Juburi's tactics for "personal and moral 
reasons," and believed it cost the coalition votes in five of 
the eight provinces in which they had candidates.  While from 
the Sunni Arab tribal community in Ninewa, Khalaf said enough of 
the right things -- addressing issues of basic social services, 
security, and an agenda to "reach out" across ethnic and 
religious lines -- that he may very well be a positive force 
within the new government.  We will continue to build on our 
relationship with Khalaf and track his progress in the new 
national assembly. 
MUNTER 

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