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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BAGHDAD3807 2006-10-13 10:53:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

MFA DISAPPOINTED WITH TURKEY ON MAKHMOUR

Tags:   IZ PGOV PREL PREF TU 
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VZCZCXRO8375
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3807 2861053
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131053Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7396
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 003807 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2016
TAGS: IZ PGOV PREL PREF TU
SUBJECT: MFA DISAPPOINTED WITH TURKEY ON MAKHMOUR

Classified By: PolCouns Margaret Scobey for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary
Mohammad Hamoud has agreed to meet in Baghdad with the United
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Kurdish
Regional Government (KRG) to discuss the future of the
Makhmour refugee camp. Hamoud lamented that the Turkish
Embassy would not participate in this meeting, and hoped that
in the future the Turkish government will be more forthcoming
on the issue. End summary.

MFA - Talks "Useless" Without Turkey


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





2. (C) Embassy refugee coordinator (RefCoord) met on October
12 with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Undersecretary
Mohammad Hamoud to confirm the Government of Iraq continued
engagement with UNHCR to find a permanent solution to the
plight of Turkish Kurd refugees in Iraq. Hamoud confirmed
that he planned to attend a meeting with KRG representatives
and UNHCR in Baghdad on October 17, and welcomed U.S.
interest and participation in the process (Note: RefCoord
will attend as an observer. End note). At the same time, he
lamented that no one from the Turkish Embassy in Iraq would
be present at the meeting, not even as an observer. Without
Government of Turkey participation, Hamoud contended,
meetings about the future of Makhmour are "useless".



3. (C) RefCoord agreed that all stakeholders should be
involved in finding a permanent solution for the refugees,
and that the proposed GOT-GOI-UNHCR Tripartite Agreement
provides a vehicle to do so. The October 17 meeting, as
planned by UNHCR, will examine measures to restore the
civilian character of the camp (i.e., expelling PKK fighters
from it). The GOI will need to lead and execute these
measures. The GOT will also have to be involved in
subsequent meetings to discuss the draft text of the
Tripartite (Note: The Tripartite Agreement commits all
parties to facilitate the voluntary repatriation and
reintegration of up to 15,000 Turkish Kurd refugees from
northern Iraq, including the 11,000 at the Makhmour refugee
camp. End note).

Iraqi MFA Focused on Permanently Closing Makhmour


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



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





4. (C) Hamoud responded that the GOI does not oppose the
restoration of the camp's civilian nature, but that clearing
the camp of PKK would be futile if shortly afterwards it is
not shut down permanently, as the GOI would not be able to
prevent the PKK from infiltrating the camp again. For
Hamoud, the lack of progress in finding a permanent solution
for the refugees lies on the GOT's "unwillingness to make any
commitments". As an example, Hamoud mentioned that the GOI
does not know how the GOT feels about the draft Tripartite
Agreement, as it has provided no comments on it. RefCoord
noted that the GOI had not provided any comments either.
Hamoud responded that the GOI "has no problems with the
current draft" but that he would check with his legal
department to see if they have any comments.



5. (C) Hamoud stated that the refugees should voluntarily
return to Turkey. Those who do not want to return should be
resettled in third countries. Hamoud did not think that the
refugees could be locally integrated in Iraq. For the GOI,
he said, Makhmour is a headache and an unwelcome factor that
detracts from the GOI's goal of fostering friendly relations
with Turkey. He suggested that perhaps the USG could
convince the GOT to talk to the GOI about the issue.



6. (C) Comment: Dr. Hamoud has been following Makhmour for
some time and is well informed about the issue. He
downplayed the importance of restoring the civilian character
of the camp vis-a-vis the larger issue of closing the camp
entirely. While he agreed that expelling the PKK from the
camp may be addressed as a separate issue from the eventual
repatriation of the refugees, his inclination was to link
both issues and to implicitly justify the GOI's lackadaisical
approach to the PKK expulsion by the GOT's perceived refusal
to address repatriation. End Comment.
KHALILZAD