US embassy cable - 06MOSUL14

IRAQ NATIONAL DIALOGUE COUNCIL CONCERNED ABOUT SHAPE OF POLITICS IN IRAQ AND NINEWA

Identifier: 06MOSUL14
Wikileaks: View 06MOSUL14 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: REO Mosul
Created: 2006-02-14 14:38:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ MARR PINT Terrorism
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 000014 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/14/2016 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, MARR, PINT, Terrorism 
SUBJECT: IRAQ NATIONAL DIALOGUE COUNCIL CONCERNED ABOUT SHAPE OF 
POLITICS IN IRAQ AND NINEWA 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron  Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) 
 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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1.  (C) The Iraqi National Dialogue Council (INDC) in Ninewa is 
concerned about the shape of the new national government in 
Iraq.  National assembly delegate Mahmood Al-Azzawi seems afraid 
Sunni Arabs might be "left out" from playing a larger role in 
the formation of the government.  He said he would work to 
oppose private militias, such as Peshmerga and Badr, and 
corruption.  Al-Azzawi asked for USG assistance to keep Iraq 
unified as "one people," and for help to move Iraq on to the 
world stage.  He said, however, that such assistance should 
follow Iraq's lead.  Al-Azzawi said he welcomes provincial 
elections planned for later this year.  He said he hopes a new 
provincial government would be more representative and, if 
controlled by Sunni Arabs, more responsive to the needs of the 
people of Ninewa.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) PRT Leader met with Iraq National Dialogue Council 
(INDC) provincial director and newly elected national assembly 
delegate Mahmood Al-Azzawi, and party spokesman Musadaq Al 
Chalabi, in Mosul on February 11.  PRT Poloff was also in 
attendance. 
 
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FEAR OF DIVISIONS IN THE NEW GOVERNMENT 
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3.  (C) PRT Leader welcomed Al-Azzawi and Al Chalabi to the PRT 
where the topic moved to concerns INDC members had regarding the 
formation of the new government in Baghdad.  Referring to the 
Shia majority in the new national assembly, Al-Azzawi said he 
hopes the process to form the new government is inclusive.  He 
said the most important issue should be limits on federalism and 
control of political party and private militias.  Al-Azzawi said 
he fears the new government would interpret the constitution to 
allow for the creation of separate Shia and Kurdish units.  He 
said such a plan would "carve up" resources and further "divide" 
the populace.  Al-Azzawi said private militias, even those he 
considers as operating under the guise of the Ministry of 
Interior, such as Kurdish Peshmerga, are "illegal" and 
contribute to hostilities.  He said political party militias, 
such as the Shia Badr Brigades, are "supported by Iran" to 
"divide Iraq."  Al-Azzawi claimed the actions of these and Iraqi 
Security Forces (ISF) make the "USG look bad" to the Iraqi 
public who fail to make distinctions between them.  He asked for 
USG assistance to address the issue. 
 
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USG ASSISTANCE AND RELATIONS WITH IRAQ 
-------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Al-Azzawi suggested that the USG, with the Iraqi 
government, should concentrate in three areas: the economy, 
security, and preventing Iraq from dividing into separate 
federal units.  PRT Leader replied that Iraq should take the 
lead on solving economic problems and that the USG would work to 
support those ideas.  Al-Azzawi said a problem in the past with 
development assistance from the USG was "indecision."  He said 
he believes this contributed to economic uncertainty and a rise 
in security problems.  He agreed with PRT Leader that Iraq 
should take the lead in developing its internal politics, but 
that both countries need to work harder to understand each 
other's needs. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
IRAQ MOVING FORWARD ON THE WORLD STAGE 
-------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Al-Azzawi said, as a former opponent of Saddam Hussein 
who spent two years in exile in Turkey and was twice imprisoned 
for his actions against the regime, that he is pleased with 
Iraq's progress in the areas of freedom of speech and 
association.  Al-Azzawi claimed the former regime kept contact 
with the outside world limited, which has complicated their 
ability to communicate effectively abroad.  Al-Azzawi qualified 
his statement by saying USG assistance would still be done on 
Iraq's terms and not that of the U.S.  However, he claimed that 
Iraq "needs a strong relationship" with the USG if the country 
is to move forward.  PRT Leader reiterated USG support by 
following Iraq's lead and respecting its sovereignty. 
 
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PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OUTLOOK 
----------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Al-Azzawi said he is looking forward to provincial 
elections later this year.  He said he hopes Sunni Arab 
coalitions would "take control" of the provincial government. 
Al-Azzawi said the current government, which is dominated by 
Kurds, is "corrupt," "not representative," and "illegal."  He 
said he believes provincial leadership should be made from the 
"different fabrics" of Ninewa but that any new government should 
not be based on "quotas."  Al-Azzawi recommended a committee be 
established to select candidates based on their expertise rather 
than ethnicity.  He claimed that once a new government is 
elected he hopes it works to remove non-Iraqi flags, such as 
that of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).  He claimed 
such flags "cause conflict" among Ninewa's diverse groups. 
Al-Azzawi said he believes a new provincial council would help 
make Ninewa "more stable" by better addressing problems of 
security and terrorism.  Al-Azzawi requested an increased 
presence of international aid organizations in Ninewa to help 
address issues of poverty. 
 
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COMMENT 
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7.  (C) Over the past few months since INDC was established we 
have maintained close contact with Al-Azzawi and Al Chalabi.  At 
first fervently opposed to the U.S. presence in Iraq, we have 
noticed that Al-Azzawi has mellowed.  Perhaps this could be 
attributed to his recent victory in the national election and 
the realization that compromise will be necessary to achieve any 
sort of meaningful outcome in the new government.  However, 
while he has relaxed on some issues, he is still adamant about 
certain topics that are sure to spur heated debate in the new 
government as it establishes the rules and procedures for the 
constitution.  He is strongly opposed to the idea for separate 
federal units of control, especially for Shias and Kurds, for 
example.  On the other hand, he has well-meaning desires to rid 
the country of its reliance on private militias, as well as to 
find solutions to government corruption.  It is still uncertain, 
however, how effective Al-Azzawi will be on the national stage, 
and whether he and his colleagues will be relegated to 
opposition party status. 
MUNTER 

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