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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BAGHDAD2479
2005-06-13 06:49:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

UPDATE ON OUTREACH TO IRAQIS ON CONSTITUTIONAL

Tags:   PGOV  KDEM  IZ 
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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 BAGHDAD 002479 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2015
TAGS: PGOV KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON OUTREACH TO IRAQIS ON CONSTITUTIONAL
COMMISSION STANDUP

Classified By: Classified by Charge d'Affaires James Jeffrey for reason

s 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002479

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2015
TAGS: PGOV KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON OUTREACH TO IRAQIS ON CONSTITUTIONAL
COMMISSION STANDUP

Classified By: Classified by Charge d'Affaires James Jeffrey for reason

s 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary: Some Sunnis are digging in to get 25
additional Sunni representatives on the Constitution
Committee, although when pressed senior leaders will drop to
20 fairly quickly, including Talabani and Committee Deputy
Chair Janabi. Shi'a contacts universally support 15 as a
maximum; Barzani appears to be in the Shi'a camp. Next
steps: Much of the action will shift to Irbil, where many
political figures will attend Barzani's swearing in as KRG
President on June 14. The DCM will be present. Charge will
continue to press the need to close the deal with additional
contacts June 13. As the parliamentary factions have
seemingly agreed to the conditions for Sunni inclusion, the
only issue is numbers, where the Sunnis maybe trying to
create demographic facts, or are raising a demand they know
(and some hope) will be rejected, potentially raising UN (and
even US) ire toward the Shia-dominated National Assembly.

Sunni Waqf Director
--------------


2. (C) Sunni Waqf Director Adnan al-Dulaymi backed down
"personally" on his demand for 25 Sunni Arab additions to the
Constitution Committee in June 11 meeting with the Charge,
but he would not go lower than 20. He said that Sunni Arabs
would call for U.N. arbitration if pressured to take accept

15. He said Sunnis would also consider boycotting the
process altogether. Dulaymi passed Charge a list of 25
candidates for the committee that appeared to have been
written in concert with the Iraqi Islamic Party, but excluded
the National Dialogue Council. Dulaymi has prepared a
separate list of some 53 individuals he recommended be
consulted as experts and advisors but not brought on as
voting members. Charge stated that our soundings had
indicated that 15 additional Sunnis was as far as the
parliament was likely to go; Delaymi lamely argued that the
Sunni percent of the population (he claimed 30-40 percent,
most objective figures range around 20 percent) and the 42
percent of 'no votes' (sic) in the election required a large
Sunni group to represent the unrepresented. Charge urged

Dulaymi to rethink his position on numbers and take advantage
of the opportunity to participate as equals in this process.
Charge stressed that US would go to bat for equal status for
new Sunnis, and the right for Sunnis to pick their own
candidates, but we would not press for more than 15 Sunni
representatives.

TNA Speaker Hassani
--------------


3. (C) TNA Speaker Hachim al-Hasani agreed with Charge that
15 additional Sunni Arabs was a reasonable number in a June
11 meeting. Hassani said he would meet with Dulaimi
privately later that day to convince him to accept that
number.

VP Abd al Mahdi
--------------


4. (C) Abd al Mahdi was supportive of the Charge,s
presentation. He said as well that 15 additional Sunnis was
all the traffic was likely to bear. He said he would back
Sunni requests for equal status (the 'consensus' rule for
decisions) and the right for the Sunnis to pick their own
representatives. He however pushed for a Sunni contact now
in Washington, Tahar Jabr Alwani, whom he said is well known
to US officials, to be given one of the Sunni slots. Charge
made no commitment.

President Talabani
--------------


5. (C) In response to the Charge,s presentation, Talabani
said that he had pushed for 25 Sunnis, because he wanted
representatives from four different groups including
'liberals,' members of the communist party, and others (whom
one could describe as 'anti-clerical' Sunnis. ( Clearly
Talabani wants to water down the nationalist/clerical color
of most of the Sunni interlocutors.) When Charge asked if
Talabani could deliver the parliament on 25, he backed down
immediately. He admitted that even Barzani (who is
particularly miffed at the Sunnis right now, according to
Talabani) would not go that far, let alone the Shi'a. He
then put forward the possibility of '20' additional Sunni
slots. Charge said that 15 appeared to us both as reasonable
and as the most that the traffic would bear. Talabani said
he would try to work all this in Irbil at the KRG
swearing-in, now scheduled for June 14.
National Dialogue Council
--------------


6. (C) On June 11, Mahmoud Mashadani did most of the talking
with A/Polcouns. He said 25 was the minimum number to
represent the Sunni demographic, which was defined by the
percentage of non-voters. Fifteen would not be accepted by
the Sunni community and would expose anybody who agreed to to
great pressure to withdraw from the political process and
physical danger. He then added that if Waqf head Dulaymi
would publicly agree to 15, this would increase that
number,s acceptability, even though Dulaymi, as a government
official, was not seen as completely representative if the
Sunni community. NDC Salafist representative Abd al Nasir al
Janabi claimed that former UN rep to Iraq Jamal Benomar had
been in recent contact with him and other members of the
Council and had told them that even the Secretary of State
had recognized their importance in the community.

PM Jafari
--------------


7. (C) Jafri's top political staffer told us June 11 that
Jafari strongly believed 15 was the maximum, and urged that
we press our contacts on that number. The PM,s office has
also confirmed that the Council of Ministers has decided to
remove Dulaymi as head of the Sunni Waqf, as well as the head
of the Shia Waqf. Although the putative replacement for
Dulaymi may have broad support in the Sunni community, we
have urged the PM,s office and the Presidency to go slow on
making these changes at this delicate political moment.
Jeffrey