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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07BAGHDAD2629 2007-08-07 15:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

ALLAWI'S DECISION TO WITHDRAW MINISTERS: LOTS OF

Tags:   PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM IZ 
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VZCZCXRO3624
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2629/01 2191506
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071506Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2672
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002629 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM IZ
SUBJECT: ALLAWI'S DECISION TO WITHDRAW MINISTERS: LOTS OF
NOISE, LITTLE IMPACT

REF: BAGHDAD 1942

Classified By: Political Counselor Matt Tueller for Reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d)



1. (C) Summary: On August 5, Minister of Human Rights Wijdan
Salim from Ayad Allawi's Iraqiyya list informed emboffs that
Allawi ordered his ministers to suspend participation in
Ministerial cabinet meetings. This would impact four
Iraqiyya Ministers ) Salim, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi (Minister
of Communication), Raid Jahid Fahmi (Minister of Science and
Technology), and Mohammed Abass al-Uraybi (Minister Without
Portfolio). According to Iraqiyya representatives, Allawi
made the decision because of Iraqiyya's continued
marginalization and the Prime Minister's failure to pursue
non-sectarian policies that foster reconciliation. While
Iraqiyya members agree in general with Allawi's frustrations
with the GOI, the decision to suspend participation in
cabinet meetings is not unanimously supported by all of
Iraqiyya's ministers; Minister Fahmi said on August 6 he will
continue to attend cabinet meetings. Allawi's decision
increases pressure on the GOI, but it is unlikely that it
will force a solution to the current political stalemate or
serve as the catalyst for changing GOI leadership. End
Summary

ALLAWI ORDERS HIS MINISTERS TO SUSPEND PARTICIPATION



2. (C) In an August 5 interview with al-Sharqiya Television,
Iraqiyya Council of Representatives (CoR) member Izzat
al-Shahbandar emphasized that Iraqiyya Ministers have not
withdrawn from the government or the political process. He
noted, however, that Allawi did instruct his ministers to
abstain from cabinet meetings and that Iraqiyya members are
"deliberating" on this issue. Various Iraqiyya contacts told
Emboffs that Allawi instructed his Ministers to work at their
Ministries but report directly to President Talabani instead
of the Prime Minister. In an August 6 interview with
al-Iraqiyah television, Iraqiyya CoR member Osama al-Najafi
said that suspension of participation in cabinet meetings is
"a first step towards a complete withdrawal from the
government," although again this would require continued
deliberation among all of Iraqiyya's various members.

UNANIMOUS SUPPORT AMONG IRAQIYYA'S MINISTERS LACKING



3. (C) Allawi's decision, while anticipated for a number of
days, was made without the full support of all of Iraqiyya's
Ministers. In an August 6 meeting with poloff, Minister of
Science and Technology and Communist Party member Raid Jahid
Fahmi said that he was the only Iraqiyya Minister to attend
the cabinet meeting earlier that day. While Communist Party
leaders share many of Allawi's frustrations, he said, they
did not agree with suspending participation in the cabinet
meetings. In an August 6 meeting with Meghan O'Sullivan,
Special Assistant to the President, Iraqiyya member and
former Transitional National Assembly speaker Hachim
al-Hassani speculated that of the four Ministers affected by
the decision only the Minister of Communications, Mohammed
Tawfiq Allawi, would prolong his absence from cabinet
meetings.

REASONS FOR THE SUSPENSION: MARGINALIZATION AND FRUSTRATION



4. (C) Allawi's timing, according to Ministers Salim and
Fahmi as well as Iraqiyya CoR member Maysoon al-Damluji,
stems from continued frustration at Iraqiyya's
marginalization within the political process and the GOI's
failure to fulfill its promises of reconciliation due to
sectarian policies and agendas. Allawi and Iraqiyya
representatives have voiced these concerns repeatedly
(reftel) and expressed their perception that Iraqiyya has
been marginalized within the political process. Despite
these actions, Iraqiyya continues to be "sidelined" and its
frustrations ignored by the Prime Minister, al-Damluji told
poloff. In a separate conversation with poloff on August 6,
Minister Salim noted that four months ago Iraqiyya sent a
letter to the Prime Minister describing its concerns about
GOI policies and anger about Iraqiyya's increasingly limited
role within the GOI. The Prime Minister "never responded,"
Salim said.



5. (C) While acknowledging Allawi's previously stated
grievances with the GOI, al-Hassani speculated that Allawi
made the decision as a "face-saving" measure given his
previous threats that he would suspend participation and
Tawafuq's recent withdrawal. In an August 6 meeting with the
Ambassador (septel) President Talabani attributed Allawi's
timing to pressure from Arab states who urged Allawi to
follow through on his threats to stop participation,
especially since Tawafuq withdrew its ministers.


BAGHDAD 00002629 002 OF 002




6. (C) Comment: Allawi has spent the past several months
criticizing the GOI in general, and the PM specifically, for
being ineffective and for promoting sectarian agendas.
Similarly, Allawi has often complained that both he and his
party were being marginalized by the PM and other GOI
leaders. Yet the timing of Allawi's decision -- only a few
days after Tawafuq bolted the government, and on the cusp of
an expected meeting of the political bloc leaders -- strongly
suggests that Allawi is trying to demonstrate his relevancy
in the political process -- perhaps by getting a seat at the
table at the leadership meeting, and almost certainly with an
eye toward replacing Maliki if possible. End Comment.
CROCKER