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06BAGHDAD4629 2006-12-20 03:11:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
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1. (C) Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Daniel Speckhard
hosted Dr. Tariq Abdullah, Chef of Staff to the Prime
Minister, for an informal working dinner on December 17, 2006
to discuss follow up to the Prime Minister's speech the
previous day at the National Reconciliation Summit. The COS
recognized that the GOI was not yet organized to ensure
implementation of the initiatives mentioned by the PM,
previewed that the PM would soon deliver a second speech
focused on enhancing security, sought assistance to press the
political blocs to propose ministerial candidates for the
Sadrist-dominated ministries, and offered that the PM was
increasingly authorizing GOI-only raids against militias in

2. (C) Dr. Tariq recognized the importance of acting on the
Prime Minister's words at the December 16 National
Reconciliation Summit, but the GOI was not yet organized
internally to ensure implementation of key initiatives. The
DCM offered suggestions and Embassy assistance; they agreed
to stay in touch on how to operationalize the Prime
Minister's speech.

3. (C) The COS noted that the Prime Minister's security
speech would take place soon. The PM was grateful that
President Bush has delayed his major speech on Iraq policy
until January, allowing the PM to lay out his initiatives in
advance. Dr. Tariq recognized the high Congressional concern
about Iraq, as the PM had just met CODEL McCain/Lieberman and
CODEL Kerry/Dodd.

4. (C) Dr. Tariq underscored that the Prime Minister was
becoming impatient with the political blocs' stalling on
putting forward new Ministers for Sadr-dominated ministries.
He accused the PM's political opponents of actively trying to
undermine the government through their inaction on filling
key posts. The COS solicited the U.S. Embassy's assistance
in pressing the political blocs to provide names for
ministers quickly.

5. (C) In response to the DCM reiterating our desires to see
sustained action against militias, Dr. Tariq emphasized that
he was spending the bulk of his time on security issues. He
insisted that the Prime Minister was committed to acting
against militias, explaining that he recently authorized
several operations to move against JAM targets in Sadr City.
The COS explained that, given concerns about leaks, the PM's
office maintained a direct, operational line to GOI special
forces based at Baghdad International Airport through which
the PM could order such raids.