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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ANKARA1072
2003-02-18 13:45:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

NORTHERN IRAQ: TURKS, KDP, PUK AND ITF HOLD

Tags:  PREL MARR MOPS PREF PHUM TU IZ UNSC 
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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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001072 

SIPDIS


NOFORN


DEPT. FOR P, EUR, EUR/SE, NEA AND NEA/NGA;
NSC FOR AMB. KHALILZAD;
OSD FOR USDP LUTI


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2013
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS PREF PHUM TU IZ UNSC
SUBJECT: NORTHERN IRAQ: TURKS, KDP, PUK AND ITF HOLD
"COORDINATION" MEETING IN SILOPI FEB. 17 - KURDS COMPLAIN
ABOUT TURKISH INTERVENTION PLAN


Classified by DCM Robert Deutsch. Reasons 1.5 b and d.


-------
Summary
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1. (S/NF) TGS and Turkish MFA reps discussed in general terms
with KDP, PUK and ITF reps Turkish plans and intentions to
coordinate deployment in northern Iraq with the Iraqi Kurdish
and Turcoman parties at a meeting in Silopi, on the
Turkish-Iraqi border Feb. 17. The Iraqi Kurds told the Turks
they did not see a need for the planned Turkish deployment.
According to the Kurds, the Turkish side was not happy with
the response from the KDP and the PUK to their presentation,
although the sides agreed to a follow-up meeting that will
get into technical details in Salahadeen Feb. 25 or 26. End
Summary.




2. (S/NF)KDP Ankara rep Safeen Dizayee contacted Operation
Northern Watch POLAD Feb. 17 to report on a just-concluded
meeting in Silopi between KDP, PUK, and Iraqi Turkmen Front
(ITF) reps and representatives of the Turkish General Staff
to coordinate military plans in an eventual Iraq operation.
PUK Ankara rep also provided a brief to ONW POLAD Feb. 18.
Attending for the KDP were "Deputy PM" Sami Abdul Rahman,
Politburo member Fadhil Merani, Dohuk region peshmerga
commander Babakir Zebari and Dizayee. The PUK was
represented by PUK leader Jalal Talabani and former "Deputy
PM" and current PUK Irbil Office rep Adnan Mufti. ITF was
represented by Chairman Sanan Aga (who arrived in a
helicopter, to the chagrin of the KDP and PUK reps). (NOTE:
Turkish press insistently claimed, despite our denials, that
a US "general" also participated.) The TGS emphasized the
need for logistical coordination to prepare for a
humanitarian emergency. The 2/17 meeting only discussed
generalities. The TGS offered a follow-up meeting 2/24 or
2/25 probably in Salahadeen to get into technical details.




3. (S/NF) According to Dizayee, the Kurdish side repeated the
familiar points that they did not envision an exodus as in
1991, and if a displaced persons emergency did come about,
the Kurds would actively seek Turkish assistance. But until
such a time, the Iraqi Kurds did not see a need for Turkish
military intervention, which, the Kurds asserted, would draw
in other regional powers. The Turks responded that they also
did not foresee a mass exodus, but based on their 1991
experience, they had to be prepared for the worst. The ITF
used the meeting to complain about opposition conference
issues and demanded inclusion in the conference preparatory
committee. The KDP and the PUK said this meeting was the
wrong forum for opposition conference discussions and
declined to take up the issue.




4. (S/NF) The issue of the ITF security officer arrested by
the KDP on terrorism charges was raised by the Turkish side.
The KDP stressed that the case was about an individual, and
was not part of a political vendetta against the ITF. The
KDP told the Turks that they had evidence against the
individual in question showing he was working for "someone
else." Dizayee added that the Turkish liaison in Irbil has
been to see the KDP leadership a few times and claims he has
a copy of a US report on the matter. According to Dizayee,
the Turks asserted that the US agreed with Turkey that this
was a political act against the ITF.




5. (S/NF) Galali said he had spoken by phone with his TGS
point of contact in Silopi, Itaz Pasha, who attended the
meeting. Itaz Pasha told Galali the Turks were unhappy with
the results of the meeting and that this was the first time
in recent exchanges Turkey has been unhappy with Jalal
Talabani. Talabani apparently told the Turks that not only
the Iranians, Syrians and Iraqi Arabs would oppose a Turkish
intervention in northern Iraq, but so would the Iraqi Kurdish
community. Itaz Pasha said to Galali, "Tell Mam Jalal that
like Nelson Mandela, who worked hard for his country but
today is reduced to travelling around and giving lectures, if
Talabani adopts Barzani's attitude, he too will become like
Mandela, with no role." When Itaz Pasha told Galali the
Turks only wanted to stop refugees from coming into Turkey,
Galali asked what the TGS would do if it got a call from
Sanan Aga to come help the ITF in Irbil. Itaz Pasha replied
that the Turks would go to Irbil, as they would if Talabani
asked for help in Sulaymaniyah. Galali told him that was why
the Iraqi Kurds opposed Turkish intervention and that a TGS
move to aid the ITF in Irbil would lead to chaos, to which
Itaz Pasha reportedly said "if a war starts, we will come
into the whole region and no one can stop us."




6. (S/NF) Galali said to us, "the Turks want to make camps in
Iraq and send large numbers of troops. They tell us they
want to cooperate with us, but if they send in 50,000 troops,
how can we stop them from doing what they want whether we
"cooperate" or not? Why do they need tens of thousands of
troops in our area if they are not even participating in the
war against Saddam?" Galali urged the US to tell the Turks
that the US did not need Turkish forces in northern Iraq.
Noting that the Turks needed to come to the US to get KDP and
PUK agreement to Turkish deployments in the north, he pleaded
"please tell them no." He said that if the Turks decide not
to support a US operation, the US should send quickly as much
military force as possible to Harir and Sulaymaniyah by air
to show the Turks that the US can operate in northern Iraq
without Turkey's approval. Galali said, "Every Iraqi Kurd
is unhappy about the prospect of a Turkish intervention, even
the PUK. We know we cannot stop the Turks because the US is
trying to cooperate with them. But Turkey must accept our
rights as the residents of the region. The Turks now say
they have the key to the door in northern Iraq and will
decide who comes and goes. You must show them you can do
things in northern Iraq without them. They do not understand
your diplomatic language. They understand power."
PEARSON