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05ABUDHABI4308 2005-10-15 07:34:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

MBZ MEETING WITH SENIOR ADVISOR ON IRAQ JEFFREY

Tags:   PREL PGOV PTER EFIN IZ IR SY SA TC 
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Cable 
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C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 04308

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

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: CDA:MRQUINN
DRAFTED: POL:JFMAYBURY
CLEARED: USLO:RSIMM

VZCZCADI954
OO RUEHC RUCNRAQ RUEKJCS RUEATRS RHEHNSC RUEKJCS
RHMFISS RUEHDE
DE RUEHAD #4308/01 2880734
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 150734Z OCT 05
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1989
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ1/CCJ2/CCJ3/CCJ4/CCJ5//
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 5495
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 ABU DHABI 004308 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/I, AND NEA/ARPI, NEA/I
TREASURY FOR LARRY MCDONALD
NSC FOR CHARLES DUNNE
CENTCOM FOR BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT
CJCS FOR BRIGADIER GENERAL MICHAEL JONES

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/14/2015
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER EFIN IZ IR SY SA TC
SUBJECT: MBZ MEETING WITH SENIOR ADVISOR ON IRAQ JEFFREY

REF: A. ABU DHABI 4200

B. ABU DHABI 4261

C. ABU DHABI 4305

D. ABU DHABI 4045

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



1. (C) Summary: In a meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) October 8, Senior Adviser on
Iraq Ambassador Jeffrey and an interagency team received a
pledge of further UAEG assistance in reaching out to Sunni
Arab Iraqis and other moderates to encourage them to play a
positive role in the political process. MbZ agreed that the
U.S. military should stay in Iraq as long as necessary. MbZ
remains deeply worried about Iranian interference in
Baghdad's domestic affairs, Syria's failure to stop the flow
of foreign fighters from its territory into Iraq, and the
impact an extremist victory in Iraq would have on the Saudi
regime. Ambassador Jeffrey and MbZ shared the view that Al
Jazeera TV needed to become more objective in its coverage of
Iraq. The interagency team also met with a group of senior
diplomats from NATO/Coalition countries to brief them on
their mission. End Summary.



2. (C) MbZ made clear from the outset that the next three
months were pivotal to Iraq's political process. The
December 2005 elections will be an opportunity for Iraqis to
select the "right leadership in Iraq to move Iraq forward."
If the political process fails, he warned, Iraq would become
like Afghanistan in 1999, exporting terrorists to different
countries. For his part, Ambassador Jeffrey reaffirmed the
U.S. commitment to Iraq. "We will stay the course." The
President's speech to the National Endowment for Democracy on
October 6 makes that "crystal clear." The struggle by
terrorists in Iraq is a struggle against all of us, he added.
He told MbZ that he could be proud of the UAE's reaction to
events since 9/11, including its decision to deploy Special
Forces to Afghanistan, and make a generous pledge of economic
and humanitarian assistance.



3. (C) Ambassador Jeffrey said the Arab world would suffer
from negative developments in Iraq. He explained that the
interagency team's mission was to consult with Arab states
about what more could be done together. "You,ve done a
great deal. We've come to ask that you take further steps,"
he said. He recalled that Ambassador Khalilzad had visited
Abu Dhabi October 2 requesting that the UAE reach out to
Sunni Arabs in Iraq. While the U.S. believes the Iraqi
constitution will be approved by voters October 15, it is
very important that the Sunni community be brought into the
mainstream, he said. With respect to the December 15 Iraqi
parliamentary elections, Ambassador Jeffrey noted that the
USG goal of having a "unified, democratic, pluralistic, and
federal Iraq" derived from both UNSCR 1546 and "from our
hearts."

Arab States Taking Actions in Support of Iraq


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





4. (C) Describing the outcome of meetings during this trip,
Ambassador Jeffrey said that he expected we would see more
support from the Saudis, and he thought there was a chance
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa would travel to
Baghdad. MbZ asked about a scheduled October 10 conciliation
meeting in Baghdad and whether Ambassador Jeffrey believed it
would be successful. Ambassador Jeffrey said he thought it
would, noting that the Iraqi Islamic party was eager to get
back into the political process, and the Sunni population
wanted to participate as well. While the possibility existed
that a majority of Sunnis would vote against the
constitution, Ambassador Khalilzad was working with Kurds and
the religious parties to win their support for modifications
to the constitution to accommodate Sunni Arab concerns (ref
A). There are some very good Sunni Arab leaders, Ambassador
Jeffrey said, including some with which the UAE has had
contact (ref A). "It's good if they can weigh in." (Note:
MbZ's brother, MinState for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin
Zayed, followed up on his promise to invite former Sunni Waqf
(Endowment) leader Adnan al-Duleimi and Duleimi's successor,
Ahmed Abd al-Ghaffour al-Samarrai, to the UAE to urge them to
engage positively on the constitution. Sheikh Hamdan also
invited and met with Iraq's parliament speaker, Hajim
al-Hassani, a Sunni Arab (ref B,C). End note.)

Stay the Course


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





5. (C) MbZ dismissed reporting in the Arabic media that
advocated a U.S. troop withdrawal. He was adamant that U.S.
forces should not pull out until the job is done. "Anybody
telling you to leave now, I don't think he can see further
than his knees," he said. A premature withdrawal would
jeopardize Iraq's oil production, he added. MbZ said he knew
of people who advocated a U.S. force withdrawal, and noted
that he was "not proud" of what "our people (Arabs) have
done" in 9/11 and in Iraq. (Note: At one point in the
conversation, MbZ spoke candidly about the sorrow he and one
of his brothers had felt when they saw a list of fallen
American soldiers in a U.S. military publication. End note.)
Ambassador Jeffrey said these would be welcome words to
President Bush and the Secretary.



6. (C) Accustomed to speaking frankly to USG interlocutors,
MbZ said that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal
was wrong to have characterized the political situation in
Iraq in such stark terms last month. MbZ also reiterated
what he told a visiting Business Executives for National
Security delegation September 20, that Arab League Secretary
General Amr Moussa was being unhelpful on Iraq (ref D). He
said Amr Moussa was not allowing Arab initiatives on Iraq to
go forward. Had Amr Moussa been involved from the beginning,
the U.S. mission in Iraq would have been easier, he opined.
MbZ said he doubted Amr Moussa would travel to Baghdad as a
mediator, and speculated that he would send his deputy
instead. He said Iraq, like a cancer, cannot be ignored
thinking that they will not be affected by it. "It might
happen to us anytime," he said.

A Constitution for All Iraqis


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





7. (C) MbZ asked whether information about the constitution
was reaching Iraqis in small towns and rural areas.
Ambasssador Ross said that "extensive use" of television
within Iraq was allowing the message to get out. MbZ said he
was encouraged after his brother, Hamdan, told him that more
changes had been taking place within the past four to five
days.



8. (C) Ambassador Jeffrey acknowledged that even if 99
percent of Iraqis supported the constitution, some terrorists
would fight on. He explained that much of the fighting was
being carried out in the Sunni triangle by indigenous Iraqis
who believe history has turned against them, or who believe
they have to protect the country against Iranians. The U.S.
and the ITG have not yet succeeded in bringing these Iraqis
into the political process for two reasons, he said. The
first was the "Zarqawi element." In Fallujah in April 2004,
the U.S. offered to accommodate long-standing Sunni demands
by bringing back old army elements and keeping Zarqawi out.
When that did not happen, U.S. forces had to "go in." The
second reason was that the Arab community in the region had
not sent a strong enough signal that it accepted Iraq.
Ambassador Jeffrey added that President Bush believes
democracy is absolutely essential, and that a federal system
is necessary for Iraq. He noted that the only way to
maintain the unity of Iraq was to ensure pluralism at various
levels, and to keep out Iran.

Gravest Threats to Iraq


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





9. (C) MbZ then asked what Ambassador Jeffrey saw as the
three major dangers in Iraq from now until 2010. Ambassador
Jeffrey listed the terrorist threat from Zarqawi, noting that
if Zarqawi holds on, he could establish a base, something the
U.S. and International community would not accept. (Note:
Ambassador Jeffrey cited President Bush's Oct. 6 speech to
the NED. End note.) Second, Iraq faces a danger from Iran
and Syria. Deliberately or not, the Syrians are encouraging
the insurgency, "supplying foot soldiers" for Zarqawi,
Ambassador Jeffrey said. Finally, Iraq faces the threat of
partition if its Kurdish, Shi'a, and Sunni populations are
unable to reconcile their differences. Brigadier General
Kimmitt added the dangerous consequences of a breakdown of
the political process.

Talking to Syria


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





10. (C) On the issue of Syria's role in aiding the Iraqi
insurgency, Ambassador Ross said that there had been U.S.
diplomatic efforts to explain the situation to President
Bashar, but that the foreign fighters continued to infiltrate
the Iraqi border from Syria. The U.S. had warned Syria that
the lack of stability in Iraq would have a negative effect on
Syria. MbZ said the Syrians did not believe the U.S. message
because the U.S. "did not make them believe it." He said the
U.S. may not have used the right approach to communicate with
Bashar. "If you know the culture, you can take a shortcut,"
he said. "You have to talk to him the way he understands it.
He will grasp it." Ambassador Jeffrey said the U.S. is
working on the issue of Syria's aiding the insurgency in
Iraq, and is looking to friends in the region to find a
solution.

Iranian Role in Iraq


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





11. (C) Iran also poses a danger to Iraq, Ambassador Jeffrey
said. MbZ said the Emirati leadership is concerned about
Iranian influence in Iraq's domestic affairs. His
intelligence sources say that a majority of Iraq's government
was formerly with the Iranian intelligence. "They are in the
leadership of the Iraqi government," he claimed, citing Prime
Minister Jaafari as an example. The UAE has no problem
supporting the Shi'a in Iraq, he continued. "Our strategy is
to see Iraq stable. But we need an Iraqi nationalist,
whether Muslim or non-Muslim." MbZ said he is worried when
he gets reports that Iranian agents "enter the back door" of
the office or residence of an Iraqi political figure right
after the American Ambassador pays a call. Ambassador
Jeffrey acknowledged that there is an element of Iraqi Shi'a
that is very close to Iran. "That is worrisome to us," he
said. But Ambassador Jeffrey said he had no reason to
believe the Jaafari was anything but an Iraqi patriot.

Promoting Democracy in Iraq


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





12. (C) Ambassador Jeffrey emphasized that the U.S. is
"predisposed to democracy" in Iraq, and the democratic
process is what led to a Shi,a majority in parliament. If
the Sunni voters had voted, the parliament would have a
different composition, he added. Democracy was the
underlying reason for going to Iraq, and it's the only way
forward for Iraq, Ambassador Jeffrey asserted. He cited the
Secretary's recent speech at Princeton University in which

SIPDIS
she discussed the role of democracy in combating terrorism.
MbZ responded candidly that he did not favor the U.S.
approach, saying "You cannot have a democratic system like
the one in California and plug it into Baghdad." Alluding to
his support for former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, MbZ
said, "You need to choose your guy and push him. You have to
make sure the next guy is the right guy." MbZ said the UAE
leadership was "trying really hard" to talk to the Sunni
Arabs in Iraq "to convince them to do something good for
Iraq."



13. (C) Ambassador Jeffrey said the U.S. objective was to try
to establish a political system that holds together, and not
have a system that is held together "by the force of one man"
as was the case under Saddam Hussein. Iraqis need some
"breathing room" to participate in the political process, he
said. The U.S. is campaigning to provide a level playing
field for all of Iraq's political interests. In that vein,
the U.S. has undertaken a major effort to secure major urban
centers where Sunni Arabs live, and to work with groups over
which the U.S. has influence to encourage them to coordinate
with one another rather than split up. Ambassador Jeffrey
said the U.S. was working with all moderate, democratic,
forces and emphasized that the U.S. would not pick a winner.
But, he noted the importance of having an Iraqi parliament
that more accurately reflects the proportion of each
population in Iraq.



14. (C) MbZ nodded in agreement and offered to help. "We
need each other. We are in this together," he told
Ambassador Jeffrey. "This is what Saddam did to us. We are
going to deal with it."

Threat of Extremism in Region


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





15. (C) MbZ tied the discussion about Iraq to his concern
about Islamic radicalism in the region. He said he was more
worried about Wahhabism and the collapse of the house of Saud
than anything else. If the Saudi regime were to fall, MbZ
said, "I don't think we'll have Scandinavian style
democracy." Instead, Saudi Arabia would be ruled by
"somebody like the one we are chasing in the mountains," a
reference to Osama bin Laden. "After that, we will have a
holy man from Mecca or Medina telling us, 'You are not a good
Muslim.' ... They will have people move against you from
within. You will see how much of your own men )- nationals
-) turn against you." MbZ voiced concern about Saudi
vulnerability should Iraq "crash." One of the reasons the
UAE maintains close ties with the Saudi royal family is
because "anybody who replaces the Al Saud would be a
&nightmare," MbZ said, adding, "we have to help them help
themselves."

Countering Al Jazeera's Influence on Arab Opinion


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



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





16. (C) Ambassador Jeffrey expressed concern about Al Jazeera
TV's negative influence on Arab public opinion about
Coalition objectives in Iraq, affirming that Qatar needed "to
do better.8 Senior Adviser for NEA/I, Ambassador Ross,
explained that Al Jazeera's staff includes Baath Party
elements with "personal, political agendas that affect how
they handle the news." MbZ said that Al Jazeera was "managed
by the Muslim Brotherhood," which is a master of manipulating
different Islamic organizations. (Note: MbZ uses Muslim
Brotherhood generically to mean Islamic fundamentalists. End
note.) Based on these concerns, Ross said the USG would
"take a closer look" at who,s behind Al Jazeera. MbZ said
Al Jazeera underscores the problem he sometimes has with a
free media. One of the strengths of terrorists, he added, is
that they use the media to spread their message. "You must
prevent your story on Al Jazeera from being twisted around,"
he said.



17. (C) MbZ recalled a visit to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War
when he saw bodies of Iraqi army deserters hanging from
Baghdad bridges. Suddenly, he lamented, after 30 years of
harsh rule murder in Iraq was receiving no punishment )-
implying that Iraqis were accustomed to and needed tough
discipline.



18. (C) Ambassador Jeffrey closed by expressing his
appreciation to the UAEG for persuading other Arab countries
to take on a bigger burden. He said that Syria, Iran, and
Zarqawi need to know they will not receive comfort from the
Arab world.



19. (U) Earlier in the day, Ambassador Jeffrey and delegation
briefed 15 senior diplomats from NATO and Coalition embassies
about the interagency team's six-nation mission in the
region. The diplomats asked a variety of questions about the
team's efforts at persuading other Arab countries to rally
behind Iraq, and commented on the generally negative news
coverage about Iraq and efforts to provide a more balanced
picture of life in Iraq.



20. (U) Ambassador Jeffrey cleared on this message.
QUINN