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02ANKARA8638 2002-11-26 16:10:00 SECRET Embassy Ankara
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					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 008638 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/25/2012

REF: STATE 241093

(U) Classified by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Deutsch.
Reasons 1.5

1. (U) This is an action request for NEA/NGA, NEA/EX and
EUR/SE. See paras 3-5.




2. (S/NOFORN) Embassy understands that Chairman of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Senator Biden (D-DE),
Senator Hagel (R-NE), three SFRC professional staff members
and two military escorts (Codel Biden) desire to travel to
Turkey and to Salahuddin in northern Iraq December 4-6
(reftel). The Codel wishes to travel to Turkey via military
aircraft and then travel over land into northern Iraq via
Turkey -- all of which require GOT approval. The Embassy
alerted the MFA to the proposed visit during a November 25
meeting and requested GOT approval. We also alerted the MFA
that the USG believes that Operation Northern Watch (ONW)
POLAD Jonathan Cohen should accompany the Codel during its
visit to northern Iraq. The MFA responded positively to the
Codel's request to enter/exit northern Iraq from Turkey, but
said that, due to the Ramadan holiday, appropriate Turkish
government officials would not be available to meet with the
Codel December 6 in Ankara upon their return from northern
Iraq. Embassy will provide a more complete report of
Burcuoglu's response to the Codel's request to travel to
northern Iraq via Turkey septel.




3. (S/NOFORN) For NEA/NGA and EUR/SE: Embassy requests that
the Department authorize ONW POLAD to accompany the Codel on
the visit. As the USG's officer in the field, the ONW POLAD
has a firm grasp and understanding of not only the terrain
and the personalities in northern Iraq, but also the Turkish
position on northern Iraq, and therefore is well placed to
support the Senators' visit.

4. (S/NOFORN) For NEA/EX: We understand that NEA will provide
funding for ONW POLAD costs on such trips to northern Iraq.
We currently estimate trip costs for ONW POLAD will total
between USD 850 and USD 1000, including USD 650 in driver and
vehicle costs for Consulate Adana. This estimate does not
include danger pay or any per diem costs inside northern
Iraq. (Note: most, if not all meal, lodging and transport
expenses inside the north will be paid by hosts. end note.)
Please provide fiscal data via classified cable slugged
Ankara for PMA/Cohen.

5. (C) For CA/PPT: We understand no passport validations are
necessary for this type of official USG trip. If this is
incorrect, please advise.




6. (S/NOFORN) During a November 25 meeting with MFA DG for
Middle Eastern Affairs Burcuoglu on another issue, DCM said
that Codel Biden wanted to travel to northern Iraq December
4-5 and requested GOT approval for the visit. DCM also
alerted Burcuoglu that the USG believed it was necessary for
ONW POLAD to accompany the Codel. Burcuoglu said that he
would first brief FM Yakis (he later said U/S Ziyal) and then
the MFA would have to brief the new government (i.e. the
Prime Minister), which would make the final decision.

7. (S/NOFORN) Burcuoglu telephoned DCM November 26 to say
the GOT had approved the Codel's proposal to enter and exit
northern Iraq via Turkey. However, Burcuoglu said that due
to the Ramadan holiday (December 4 at 1300 through December
7), appropriate GOT officials would not be available for
meetings with the Codel on December 6, as the Codel desires.
(A more complete readout of Burcuoglu's response to the
Codel's request will be provided septel.)




8. (S/NOFORN) Below is the Codel's proposed schedule per

December 3
- depart Andrews AFB in the evening

December 4
--Arrive at an air base close to the Iraqi border. (Note: We
understand the Codel is looking using Mardin in south eastern
Turkey. Mardin is a civilian airport with limited operating
hours and capabilities. We recommend the Codel use
Diyarbakir air base. It can handle military and civilian
aircraft, and is not that much further from the Iraqi border
than Mardin. end note.)
--Proceed to northern Iraq and travel to Salahuddin by land.
--Meeting with PUK leader Talabani, KDP leader Barzani (TBD)
--Overnight in Salahuddin

December 5

--Meeting with women's groups;
--Meeting with NGOs (re: potential humanitarian crisis in the
event of an operation in Iraq);
--Speak to students at University of Irbil;
--Visit refugee camp housing;
--Interview with Brent Sadler (CNN);
--possible visit to site of chemical weapons attack.
--Depart for Turkish border (late afternoon). Cross border
into Turkey, proceed to military base and fly to Ankara via
military aircraft.
--Overnight in Ankara.

December 6

--meeting with GOT officials.
--Depart Ankara aboard military aircraft for Incirlik.
Receive ONW brief. Depart Incirlik en route Qatar

9. (S/NOFORN) We understand from our initial discussions with
one of the DOD military escorts that the Codel is making its
own transportation and security arrangements for all travel
within northern Iraq. We therefore assume that Kurdish
organizations in northern Iraq are aware of the visit and
planning accordingly. As far as requests from the Embassy,
we expect the Codel to request the following assistance: (1)
securing GOT approval to enter/exit northern Iraq via Turkey;
(2) securing GOT approval for right to land US military
aircraft at a Turkish base; (3) US Embassy/Consulate
assistance with ground transportation from the air base to
the Iraqi border on December 4/from the Iraqi border to the
air base on December 5; (4) hotel accommodations in Ankara
for the evening of December 5; and (5) appointments with GOT
officials on December 6. On this last point, the Codel has
requested appointments with AK Party Chairman Erdogan or
Prime Minister Gul, and TGS CHOD Gen Ozkok. For the purpose
of balance and optics, we recommend that the Codel request
meetings with PM Gul, FM Yakis and TGS CHOD Ozkok.

10. (S/NOFORN) If the Codel sticks with the proposed schedule
outlined in para 8 above, ONW POLAD would travel via
commercial air December 4 to Diyarbakir and meet the Codel
upon its arrival. Codel and ONW POLAD would then drive in a
lightly armored USG vehicle (provided by Consulate Adana)
from that location to the Habur Gate border crossing that
same day. After arriving at Habur, they would enter northern
Iraq. After they complete their activities in northern Iraq,
the Codel would return to the Habur Gate border crossing and
reenter Turkey in the afternoon on December 5. They would
then return to Diyarbakir air base via lightly armored USG
vehicle (supplied by Consulate Adana) and fly back to Ankara
in the evening of December 5.

11. (S/NOFORN) We are unaware of what arrangements the Codel
and the Iraqi Kurdish groups have made for the Codel's
transportation within in northern Iraq. That said, we
imagine the transportation and security will be similar to
that which is provided to ONW POLAD when he travels to
northern Iraq. Specifically, we expect the Codel would
travel in northern Iraq via KDP and PUK (if the Codel enters
any PUK-controlled areas) Toyota Land Cruisers, and usually
be accompanied by a mid-level public affairs official from
one of those factions. The KDP and PUK, respectively, would
typically provide 10-20 of their best-trained peshmerga
(fighters) as escorts. One or two peshmerga usually travel
in USG passengers' vehicle, and all of them carry automatic
weapons (usually Kalashnikovs). KDP and PUK forces also take
steps to secure all roads through standard and, when
necessary, additional checkpoints. KDP and PUK escorts would
be in regular communication with their respective
headquarters via radio and other means. The Codel would
utilize local KDP, PUK and other translators as necessary.




12. (S/NOFORN) While northern Iraq is never completely safe
for USG travel, we believe that in the current situation the
ONW POLAD's presence would not increase the risk of this
trip. Post defers to a USG threat assessment, but KDP and
PUK authorities have in the past provided sufficient security
guarantees. Post also notes that the GOT will be well aware
of the Codel's activities and location while in northern Iraq
and could provide both security and extraction assistance if
necessary. ONW POLAD will contact Embassy Ankara daily via
non-secure iridium phone, and Embassy Ankara personnel would
ensure that all relevant USG agencies (including CTF/ONW,
ODC, EUCOM and Washington) are kept informed. Based on
information from other channels, we recommend that the Codel
not meet with Islamist representatives during this trip.

13. (S/NOFORN) Embassy neither expects nor requests resources
from DoD or other USG agencies for extraction contingencies
for the ONW POLAD. Post is coordinating with CTF/ONW, ODC,
EUCOM and State/NEA on security and safety questions for ONW
POLAD. In case of emergency, POLAD would depart Iraq with
the assistance of the Iraqi Kurds and, if necessary, the GOT.