wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BAGHDAD2552
2005-06-16 15:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

KRG KURDS DEMAND ACTION ON KIRKUK, ALMOST SEAL

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  MOPS  KDEM  IZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
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 03 BAGHDAD 002552 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2015
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: KRG KURDS DEMAND ACTION ON KIRKUK, ALMOST SEAL
DEAL ON COUNCIL

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission David M. Satterfield for reasons

1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 002552

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2015
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: KRG KURDS DEMAND ACTION ON KIRKUK, ALMOST SEAL
DEAL ON COUNCIL

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission David M. Satterfield for reasons

1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (U) This is a REO Kirkuk cable.


2. (C) SUMMARY: Kurdish leaders told DCM and MNF-I DCS for
Political Military and Economic Relations June 13-15 that
Kirkuk's provincial council will elect new leaders this week,
but the two parties -- who are now directly dictating
solutions in the city -- had not agreed on exact outcomes.
Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani and other senior
leaders were adamant that Kirkuk will be Kurdish, most want
to see it incorporated into Kurdistan (the PUK deputy was
flexible on this option). Barzani wants the incorporation
and boundary changes to be effected more swiftly than
provided for in the TAL. All Kurds are fed up with the lack
of progress on Article 58. The DCM made clear the U.S.
commitment to implementation of Article 58, following
completion of the Constitution and December elections, but
underscored the urgent need for dialogue among all Kirkuk
residents and a halt to unilateral steps to predetermine the
status of Kirkuk. END SUMMARY.


3. (C) In meetings with Kurdish leaders in Irbil and
Sulimaniya on June 13-15, DCM and MNF-I Deputy Chief of Staff
for Political Military Economic Relations reiterated the U.S.
commitment on Article 58 of the TAL, but counseled strongly
against unilateral political and other steps that could
prejudge outcomes on Kirkuk. RC Kirkuk and DCM Assistant
attended the meetings on the U.S. side, Iraqi participants
are noted in paragraph 13.

--------------
KURDS ANGRY NO PROGRESS ON ARTICLE 58
--------------


4. (C) Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Barzani
was generally sour about the lack of progress on Kirkuk. At
his swearing-in June 14, he noted that "a genuine solution
has been stipulated in the TAL and must be applied without
further delay. We will not accept retreat. Similarly, all
other detached areas (of Kirkuk) should be returned because
they are integral parts of Kurdistan."



5. (C) PUK Deputy Noshirwan Mustafa said the issue of Kirkuk
was an emotional one. Three years before Saddam Hussein was
defeated, he sent a delegation that was ready to cede control
of the city. Kirkuk is the geographic center of Iraqi
Kurdistan, people transit the city to go from Sulimaniya to
Irbil. It was the center of Iraq's north for 80 years.
Indeed, Mustafa said much of the Kurds' pique with the
central government centered on Kirkuk. Iraqi PM Ja'aferi had
met with officials in Turkey who had provocative views on
Kirkuk. Ja'aferi had not mentioned Kirkuk or Article 58 in
his government program.


6. (C) KRG Sulimaniya Prime Minister Omar Fattah said Kirkuk
forms the central struggle for all Kurds. In 1984, the Iraqi
regime offered the Kurds part of the city east of the Khasa
River, but the Kurds refused this offer. That's why we need
to implement Article 58 now, so Kirkuk can become part of
Kurdistan.


7. (C) The new Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA) speaker
Adnan Mufti appealed for U.S. help to address Kirkuk
normalization as stipulated in article 58. He said the
Kurdish parties would pay for "Arabization" Arabs to all
leave. When DCM noted that there must be agreement among all
parties, Mufti said "you cannot ask me to live next door to
the people who shot my brother and raped my sister."

--------------
DEFINING ARTICLE 58
--------------


8. (C) Leaders were united on the concept that Arabs must
leave and that Kurds must control the province, but were
vague on details. Only Mustafa said that perhaps the
province could remain outside Kurdistan, with a separate
"special" status. KDP leaders agreed that dialog between all
parties was needed now, but President Barzani insisted that
Arabs in (Kirkuk's second city) Hawija were "refusing to
cooperate." Fattah said he had proposed to some Turkish
officials to let the Turkmen "live with us in Kirkuk (under
KRG administration) for two years, and see if we don't
provide them their rights."


9. (C) DCM indicated to both President and PM Barzani that
the U.S. would look for ways to activate the Article 58
process in Baghdad. RC Kirkuk, on the margins of the Barzani
meeting, suggested to Iraqi Deputy PM Rowsh Showays a
parallel dialog at the provincial level to get community
buy-in.

--------------
AVOIDING UNILATERAL STEPS
--------------


10. (C) The DCM in all conversations reiterated the U.S.
commitment to TAL 58 but said the U.S. was concerned about
unilateral steps -- particularly by the KDP -- in both Kirkuk
and Ninewah that could prejudge outcomes in the north. All
Iraqis must have a say in determining the future of Kirkuk
and other areas, it was a topic for constitutional drafters;
parties must not usurp that process. There must be consensus.
Barzani said he did not understand, if Arabs and Turkmen
think Kirkuk will not change, they are mistaken. Likewise in
Ninewah province, the district of Makhmur must return to
Irbil. Sheikhan was 100% Kurdish, Sinjar historically was
mostly Kurdish. The Kurds will not tolerate the perpetuation
of Saddam's mistakes.

--------------
CITY COUNCIL - KDP ASCENDANT
--------------


11. (C) DCM stressed that the U.S. wanted to move forward on
Article 58 and overall assistance on aid coordination, but
such efforts required that Kirkuk have a new government that
could take decisions. (NOTE: Kirkuk Provincial Council has
been stymied by political infighting among Kurds, and between
Kurds, Turkmen and Arab council members, and parties outside
the province.) All interlocutors confirmed that Kirkuk's
city council would be formed within days. PUK and KDP
leaders indicated they sent a delegation to Kirkuk June 13 to
discuss council formation. DCM stressed to all that the
council should contain credible and authentic members to
ensure consensus and build confidence between communities;
Kurds were supporting similar efforts at the national level.
All leaders agreed and said their respective options would
meet that criteria.


12. (C) As on other issues discussed during DCM's trip north
(see septels), the two parties differed on Kirkuk leadership.
PUK leaders confirmed that the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF),
which had taken 8 seats in the council, should be offered the
deputy governor slot. They felt the Kirkuk Brotherhood List
(KBL, the Kurdish led-list) should take the other two slots
(governor and council chairman.) The PUK did not envision
any of the top three posts going to Arabs. KDP leaders, on
the other hand, said that the KBL would name all three
leaders (and draw a Turkmen from within the Kurd list to
become deputy.)


13. (C) Massoud Barzani said that the Mustafa Abdulrahman
(KBL independent Kurd) would remain as governor. He noted
there were three contenders for deputy governor and mentioned
two names. (NOTE: Irfan Kirkukli, previously assistant
Kirkuk governor for de-Ba'athification, is a Turkmen who ran
with the KBL; and Umid Kurkilu, who is not a council member,
is a well-known writer for a Turkmen journal Turkmen Shin,
who lives in Altun Kupri, a Turkish-Kurd town on the Green
Line that is closely allied with the KDP.) Nechirvan Barzani
confirmed this lineup and added that either Rizgar Ali Hamjan
or Ahmed Askeri would be the PUK head of the Kirkuk
provincial council.


14. (C) When DCM asked about credible representation of
Turkmen and Arab blocs, Barzani said the ITF "was not
acceptable" because they were loyal to Turkey and the Arab
bloc contained "some Ba'athists." The PUK's deputy,
Noshirwan Mustafa, said that Barzani was holding tough on the
city council, and would not permit members of the ITF to take
part. This stemmed from the ITF's desire to put Barzani on
trial for his role in the disappearance of senior ITF leaders
who were arrested July 13, 1996. (At the time, Barzani had
brought in Iraqi government forces to help defeat the PUK,
which was being aided by the ITF.) The PUK's Speaker Mufti
told DCM that Turkmen were divided, and "many were now
prepared to join the Kurds" on Kirkuk and other issues. PUK
politburo leader Rasul told DCM that "we cannot marginalize
Turkmen and Arabs in Kirkuk."


15. (U) PARTICIPANTS:

KRG President Massoud Barzani (KDP)
KRG-Irbil Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (KDP)
KRG-Sulimaniya Prime Minister Omar Fattah (PUK)
PUK Deputy Secretary General Noshirwan Mustafa Amin
PUK Politiburo Executive Committee Chairman Kosrat Rasul Ali
PUK Politburo Member Omar Sayid Ali
Kurdistan National Assembly Speaker Adnan Mufti (PUK)
Kurdistan National Assembly Deputy Speaker Kemal Kirkuki (KDP)


16. (U) REO HILLA, REO BASRA, REO MOSUL, and REO KIRKUK,
minimize considered.
Jeffrey