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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03VATICAN929 2003-03-06 15:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

ROME PUK REP SEEKS VATICAN ACCESS

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM VT VTPREL 
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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 VATICAN 000929 

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA/NGA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PGOV PHUM VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: ROME PUK REP SEEKS VATICAN ACCESS

REF: A) ROME 657 B) VATICAN 683

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR JIM NICHOLSON, REASON E.O. 12958 (D)



1. (C) SUMMARY: ROME PUK REPRESENTATIVE BAKER FATTAH MET
WITH POLOFF FEBRUARY 25 TO DISCUSS PUK EFFORTS TO GAIN
VATICAN ATTENTION FOR THE KURDISH CAUSE. FATTAH TOLD POLOFF
THAT THE PUK HAD BEEN TRYING TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE HOLY SEE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 00929 01 OF 02 061607Z
AND HAD SOUGHT AN AUDIENCE WITH THE POPE FOR "PM" SALIH
DURING IRAQI DPM TAREQ AZIZ' VISIT TO ITALY. THE HOLY SEE
INSTEAD SET UP A MEETING FOR SALIH WITH ARCHBISHOP RENATO
MARTINO, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND
PEACE, WHERE THE KURDISH DELEGATION RECEIVED THE STANDARD
HOLY SEE LINE -- THAT IT COULD NEVER BE SEEN TO SUPPORT A
WAR, EVEN TO LIBERATE THE KURDISH PEOPLE, AND ANY DECISION
FOR MILITARY ACTION MUST BE TAKEN BY THE UN TO BE LEGITIMATE.
FATTAH VOLUNTEERED HIS "STRONG CONCERN" AT ANY TURKISH
EFFORT TO DISARM THE KURDS IN EVENT OF A WAR, AND ASSURED US
THAT HIS PEOPLE WANTED TO ENTER A POWER SHARING ARRANGEMENT
IN BAGHDAD. FATTAH DID NOT FORESEE THE RISE OF INTERCOMMUNAL
CONFLICT AFTER THE "LIBERATION OF IRAQ," -- INSISTING THAT
IRAQ DID NOT HAVE A HISTOR OF CIVIL WAR. WE ENCOURAGED
FATTAH TO CONTACT TE HOLY SEE MFA COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR THE
MIDDLE EST MONS. FRANCO COPPOLA, WHO HAD JUST RETURNED FRO
BAGHDAD WITH PAPAL S/E ETCHEGARRAY (REF B), AS FIRST STEP
TO GAINING A POSSIBLE PAPAL AUDIENCEFOR SALIH. WE BELIEVE
THAT SUCH AN AUDIENCE COUL HIGHLIGHT THE HOLY SEE'S CONCERN
FOR HUMANITARIN CONDITIONS IN IRAQ, BUT THAT POPE WOULD NOT
SE THE PUK WHILE HE STILL HOLDS HOPE TO AVOID WAR. UCH A
MEETING COULD, HOWEVER, TAKE PLACE ONCE TH UNSC TAKES A
DECISION TO ENFORCE UNSCR 1441. EN SUMMARY.



--------------------------



--------------------------


PUK EFFORTS TO AVERT AZIZ AUDIENCE; SECURE AUDIENCE WITH POPE


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (C) EMBASSY VATICAN JOINED EMBASSY ROME IN FACILITATING
VATICAN CONTACTS FOR US CITIZEN AND INDICT NGO DIRECTOR
CHARLES FORREST (REF A) DURING IRAQI DFM TAREQ AZIZ' FEBRUARY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 00929 01 OF 02 061607Z
VISIT TO ITALY. (NOTE: INDICT SEEKS INFORMATION TO PRESS
CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST IRAQI LEADERS GUILTY OF CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY; FORREST, WORKING WITH THE LOCAL PUK OFFICE,
UNSUCCESSFULLY SOUGHT TO DEVELOP ARREST WARRANTS FOR AZIZ
DURING HIS ITALY/VATICAN VISITS). FORREST SUBSEQUENTLY
ADVISED LOCAL PUK REPRESENTATIVE BAKER FATTAH TO CONTACT
EMBASSY VATICAN TO SOLICIT ADVICE ON HOW BEST TO PRESS THE
PUK MESSAGE WITH THE HOLY SEE. MEETING OVER COFFEE ON
FEBRUARY 25, FATTAH TOLD POLOFF THAT THE PUK HAD BEEN TRYING
FOR WEEKS TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE HOLY SEE IN ORDER TO REMIND
THE HOLY SEE OF THE IRAQI REGIME'S ATROCIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS
RECORD AND TO CONVINCE THE POPE NOT MEET TAREQ AZIZ.



3. (C) FATTAH AND FORREST FORMALLY REQUESTED AN AUDIENCE
WITH THE POPE FOR PUK "FM" BARHAN SALIH (PH) DURING THE WEEK
OF FEBRUARY 17, BUT WERE REFERRED INSTEAD TO ARCHBISHOP
RENATO MARTINO. MARTINO IS THE FORMER HOLY SEE UN PERMANENT
OBSERVER, AND RECENTLY TOOK OVER AS PRESIDENT OF THE
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE -- THE HOLY SEE
DICASTRY (NOTE: CABINET DEPARTMENT) THAT DEALS WITH JUSTICE,
PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES. ACCORDING TO FATTAH, MARTINO
REITERATED THE STANDARD HOLY SEE POSITION THAT IT COULD NEVER
BE SEEN TO SUPPORT WAR, AND THAT ANY MILITARY ACTION IN IRAQ
WOULD NEED TO BE APPROVED BY THE UN TO BE LEGITIMATE. FATTAH
MENTIONED THAT SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY SPIRITUAL LEADER DON
MATTEO ZUPPI HAD ALSO COUNSELED THAT IT WAS USELESS TO TRY TO
PERSUADE THE HOLY SEE PUBLICLY TO SUPPORT A WAR, EVEN TO
LIBERATE IRAQIS SUFFERING FROM SADDAM'S OPPRESSION. FATTAH
SAID HE WAS NOT HOPEFUL THAT THE POPE WOULD EVER MEET WITH
SALIH. (NOTE: WE TOO HAD SHARED INTERNET BASED REPORTS OF
SADDAM'S ATROCITIES, INCLUDING THE HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 VATICA 00929 01 OF 02 061607Z
ON THE ANFAL CAMPAIGNS, WITH THE HOLY SEE DFM SHORTLY BEFORE
AZIZ'S VISIT.)



--------------------------


COMMENTARY ON POST-WAR SCENARIO


--------------------------





4. (C) FATTAH TOLD US HE THOUGHT WAR WAS CLOSER THAN EVER.
HE VOLUNTEERED, HOWEVER, THAT THE KURDS WERE VERY CONCERNED
THAT THE TURKS WOULD OCCUPY "KURDISTAN" TO DISARM KURDS. IF
THIS HAPPENED, HE OBSERVED, "THINGS WOULD GET VERY BAD." HE
ASSURED US THAT, FAR FROM WANTING INDEPENDENCE, THE KURDS
WISHED TO ENTER A DEMOCRATIC POWER-SHARING ARRANGEMENT IN
BAGHDAD. "WE ONLY WANT FORTY PERCENT OF THE OIL REVENUES,
FOR DEVELOPMENT," HE NOTED. FATTAH WAS OPTIMISTIC THAT IRAQ
COULD AVOID A CIVIL WAR AFTER SADDAM, BECAUSE "WE HAVE NO
HISTORY OF CIVIL WAR - JUST OF STRUGGLE AGAINST CORRUPT
REGIMES."



--------------------------


COMMENT

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ8236

PAGE 01 VATICA 00929 02 OF 02 061607Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DS-00 VC-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00 NEA-00 NSAE-00 PA-00
PM-00 SSO-00 SS-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01
SAS-00 /001W


--------------------------

4033CE 061608Z /38
O 061506Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 000929

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI), NEA/NGA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PGOV PHUM VT VTPREL
SUBJECT: ROME PUK REP SEEKS VATICAN ACCESS



--------------------------





5. (C) WE TOLD BOTH FORREST AND FATTAH THAT THE HOLY SEE'S
PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO THE IRAQ CRISIS
IS MOTIVATED BY A VARIETY OF CONCERNS. THESE INCLUDE ITS FEAR
OF AN IRAQ WAR DESTABILIZING THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST AND
PERHAPS CATALYZING A GLOBAL STRUGGLE BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND
ISLAM, ITS STRONG DESIRE NOT TO COMPROMISE ITS ONGOING
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 00929 02 OF 02 061607Z
DIALOGUE WITH MUSLIM LEADERS, AND ITS CONCERN FOR THE SAFETY
OF CHRISTIAN MINORITIES IN THE MUSLIM WORLD. HOWEVER, WE
SUPPORTED FORREST'S EFFORTS TO HAVE AN MEETING WITH THE HOLY
SEE TO DISCUSS INDICT'S WORK, AND REFERRED HIM TO A CONTACT
IN THE MFA (WITH WHOM HE SUBSEQUENTLY MET). WE ALSO
ENCOURAGED FATTAH TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP CONTACTS WITHIN THE
HOLY SEE. WE UNDERSCORED WITH FATTAH THAT THE POPE COULD
NEITHER CANCEL THE AZIZ AUDIENCE NOR MEET WITH SALIH SO LONG
AS HE WAS HOPING FOR A SUCCESSFUL BAGHDAD VISIT BY HIS
"TROUBLESHOOTING CARDINAL" ROGER ETCHEGARRAY (REF B). WE
SUGGESTED TO FATTAH THAT A MORE FRUITFUL AVENUE FOR THE PUK
TO THE HOLY SEE MIGHT BE VIA THE IRAQI CHALDEAN PATRIARCH --
BUT HE WAS NOT OPEN TO THAT, SAYING THE PATRIARCH "WAS IN THE
PAY OF SADDAM, JUST LIKE BENJAMIN" (NOTE: FRANCISCAN FATHER
BENJAMIN -- A SOMEWHAT UNSTABLE "SINGING NO-GLOBAL ACTIVIST"
WHO ORGANIZES RELIEF WORK IN IRAQ -- SPONSORED AZIZ'S ITALY
VISIT). NOTWITHSTANDING, WE ENCOURAGED FATTAH AT LEAST TO
SEEK AN APPOINTMENT WITH VATICAN MFA COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR THE
MIDDLE EAST MONS. FRANCO COPPOLA, WHO HAD JUST RETURNED FROM
ACCOMPANYING ETCHEGARRAY TO BAGHDAD.



6. (C) THE POPE HIMSELF WILL CONTINUE TO AVOID ANY SIGNAL
THAT THE VATICAN EVEN TACITLY SUPPORTS A WAR OPTION FOR IRAQ,
INCLUDING BY AVOIDING MEETING WITH SALIH. THAT IS, UNTIL A
WAR BREAKS OUT. AT THAT POINT, THE POPE MAY BE WILLING TO
MEET WITH THE PUK PM TO UNDERSCORE THE NEED FOR HUMANITARIAN
RELIEF AND TO TRY TO FORESTALL INTERCOMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN
IRAQ.
NICHOLSON

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 00929 02 OF 02 061607Z

CONFIDENTIAL

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2003VATICA00929 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL