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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05ABUDHABI4261 2005-10-10 13:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

MINSTATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS HOSTING PROMINENT IRAQIS

Tags:   PREL PGOV KDEM IZ TC 
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Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 04261

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: POL
    INFO:   DAO USLO PAO RSO AMB DCM MEPI P/M ECON

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MJSISON
DRAFTED: POL:JFMAYBURY
CLEARED: A/DCM:HOLSIN-WINDECKER, CG:JDAVIS

VZCZCADI767
OO RUEHC RUCNRAQ RUEKJCS RHEHNSC RUEHDE
DE RUEHAD #4261 2831306
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 101306Z OCT 05
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1940
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 5485
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ABU DHABI 004261 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/I, AND NEA/ARPI, NEA/I, NEA/PPD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2010
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM IZ TC
SUBJECT: MINSTATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS HOSTING PROMINENT IRAQIS

REF: ABU DHABI 4200

Classified By: MARTIN R. QUINN, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, A.I., REASONS 1.4 (B
) AND (D).



1. (C) Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of State for Foreign
Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed (HbZ) is making good on his
October 2 promise to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Khalilzad to
urge prominent Iraqi Sunni Arabs to engage positively on the
draft constitution. The former leader of the Sunni Waqf
(Endowment), Adnan al-Dulaimi, was in the UAE last week. The
meeting with al-Dulaimi was "very positive," HbZ's chief
aide, Sultan al-Romeithi, told Pol Chief. Al-Dulaimi "took
the message very well," he added. Al-Dulaimi reportedly
pledged to use all his power to influence Sunni Arabs in
Iraq. Current Sunni Waqf leader, Ahmed al-Ghaffour
al-Samarrai, met with HbZ October 6, and Iraq's parliament
speaker, Hajim al-Hassani, a Sunni Arab, met HbZ October 7.
Both of those meetings reportedly were productive,
al-Romeithi said. The official news agency reported simply
that HbZ and al-Hassani "explored avenues of cooperation and
bilateral relations and ways to boost them." (Note: While
Ambassador Khalilzad's visit received press coverage, the
press did not mention that HbZ had promised to invite Sunni
Arabs to the UAE. End note.)



2. (C) Ambassador Khalilzad visited Abu Dhabi October 2 to
urge HbZ and the UAE to support the Iraqi political process
(reftel). HbZ had also agreed that the UAEG would encourage
Dubai-based Iraqi Sunni cleric Ahmed al-Kubaysi to issue a
positive statement. Al-Romeithi told there had not been any
developments related to al-Kubaysi. HbZ had also suggested
that television stations such as Abu Dhabi TV and al-Arabiya
could broadcast statements of support for the Iraqi political
process to the Arab street. Al-Romeithi reported that HbZ
had had a discussion about this with his brother Abdallah,
the Minister of Information, but al-Romeithi did not know if,
or when, there would be a message broadcast on one or both
stations. Abu Dhabi TV, al-Arabiya, and Dubai TV have
broadcast video clips from the Iraqi Government in recent
days encouraging Iraqis to participate in the October 15
constitutional referendum.

Iraqi Expatriates Shut Out of Constitutional Referendum


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



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





3. (C) On October 10, Pol Chief asked Talib Khan, the
chairman of the Iraqi Business Council of Abu Dhabi, about
the political sentiments among the estimated 50,000 Iraqi
expatriates in the UAE. Khan said they ran the gamut. "Some
on our board are for, and some are against. In general,
people here think the process should go forward. I would
estimate that 20 percent (of Iraqi expatriates) are against
the process for one reason or another." Those reasons vary
from fear of Shi'a dominance to concerns about federalism, he
said.



4. (C) The Iraqi Government's decision not to allow Iraqi
resident abroad to participate in the October 15 referendum
has reduced Iraqis residing in the UAE to the status of
spectator, but they will be allowed to vote for 45 of the 275
seats in the parliament during the December 15 elections.
Abu Dhabi residents Laith Gabriel and Nabil al-Taweel, both
Iraqis, told Pol Chief they had not seen copies of the
constitution and had been told by the Iraqi Embassy that
copies were not available there either. Although al-Taweel
knows he's not going to be allowed to vote October 15, he
said it would still be helpful to read the document. He said
that friends and relatives in Iraq were "getting sarcastic
about voting on a constitution they haven't seen." Unlike
the January 2005 election for overseas Iraqis, which was
funded and organized by the International Organization for
Migration with the support of the UAEG, the December 15
elections will be handled by the Iraqi Embassy in Abu Dhabi
with the help of the Iraqi Business Council. Expatriates
from 20-22 countries are expected to vote in the UAE at that
time, Khan said.

Comment:


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





5. (C) As the October 15 referendum draws nearer, HbZ may get
fewer visitors from Iraq because of travel restrictions the
Government of Iraq is going to impose in the run-up to the
vote. We are monitoring the airwaves for any statements that
al-Kubaysi or others might make regarding the constitutional
referendum specifically, and Iraq's political process
generally.
QUINN