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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BAGHDAD3536
2007-10-25 03:18:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

PKK: FM BABACAN VISIT AND NEXT STEPS

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PTER  TU  IZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8603
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3536/01 2980318
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 250318Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4018
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003536 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER TU IZ
SUBJECT: PKK: FM BABACAN VISIT AND NEXT STEPS

REF: A. ANKARA 2624 AND PREVIOUS


B. BAGHDAD 3478

C. BAGHDAD 3472

Classified By: Acting Political Counselor Ellen Germain for reasons 1.4
(b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: Turkish Ambassador Kanbay told Polmil
Counselor that Turkish Foreign Minister Babacan sent a strong
message during his October 23 visit that there was limited
time for the GOI to act against the PKK. Babacan told the
Iraqis that major, concrete action must be taken now to
address the PKK terrorist problem, including capturing PKK
leaders and cutting off PKK supply lines. Kanbay said he
thought the Iraqi leaders felt the urgency conveyed by
Babacan, but that while they responded well overall, they
still sought to evade the real issues. He said Babacan
welcomed the Iraqi delegation, led by the Minister of
Defense, that will arrive in Ankara on October 25 to hold
further discussions to defuse the current tensions, and noted
that Babacan strongly requested the Iraqi delegation have the
authority to make decisions, not just talk. Babacan also
passed to the Iraqis the draft communiqu for the upcoming
Neighbors Conference, for their reaction. End Summary.


FM Babacan: Our Patience is Running Out


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





2. (C) In an October 24 meeting, Turkish Ambassador Kanbay
gave Polmil Counselor a readout of Turkish Foreign Minister
Babacan's visit to Baghdad on October 23. FM Babacan was
accompanied by influential Advisor to the Prime Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu. Noting it was the first ministerial-level
visit by the GOT to Baghdad since 2003, Kanbay said FM
Babacan sent a strong message that there was limited time for
the GOI to act against the PKK; action is necessary now.
Kanbay said about 80% of the visit was about the PKK, even
though normally such a visit would encompass a broad range of
issues. According to Kanbay, Babacan underlined that efforts
to overcome PKK terror via political and diplomatic
means have been going on for many years with little progress.
Babacan outlined that the PKK's recent attacks and the
Turkish public's emotional and angry reaction requires a
decisive and unified approach by the GOI against the PKK.
Babacan clearly expressed to the Iraqis, Kanbay said, that
any possible military action by the GOT would be against
"simple and limited" PKK targets only and not against the
Iraqi people or territory. Kanbay said that Babacan was
taking this point in his other regional stops as well.
Kanbay said Babacan requested from his Iraqi interlocutors
several major steps:

-- stop allowing the PKK safe haven in northern Iraq; end the
PKK's presence now.

-- cut logistics support and the PKK's international network;

-- close PKK offices;

-- detain PKK leadership and extradite those wanted by Turkey.


Iraqi Reaction to Babacan's Message



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





3. (C) Asked about the Iraqi reaction, Kanbay said he thought
the Iraqis felt the pressure but still sought to evade a real
solution to the issue. The GOI rejected the idea of any
military intervention on Iraqi soil. Kanbay thought Vice
President Adel Abdul Mehdi received the message well, while
President Talabani and Foreign Minister Zebari were more
reluctant and eventually got the message. He characterized
the meeting with PM Maliki positively as more like a dialogue
than two sides giving speeches. He also said that Minister
Zebari actually joined the Turkish delegation for much of the
day.


Ministerial-Level Delegation to Ankara October 25


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



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





4. (C) Ambassador Kanbay said that FM Babacan welcomed PM
Maliki's initiative to send a Ministry of Defense-led
delegation to Ankara for talks, but Babacan strongly
requested that such a delegation have full authority to make
decisions without returning to Baghdad for concurrence.



5. (C) According to Turkish DCM Ahmet Yazal, the following

BAGHDAD 00003536 002 OF 002


Iraqi members will comprise the delegation expected to
depart for Ankara on October 25:

-- Minister of Defense Abdul Qadir Muhammed Jasim;
-- Minister of State for National Security Shirwan Wa,ili
(also Iraqi envoy for combating the PKK);
-- Deputy Ministry of Interior Major General Ayden;
-- Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Labeed Abbawi;
-- Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Interior
Karim Sinjari (also Iraqi deputy envoy for combating the PKK);
-- General Askeri (aide to PM Maliki).


Lukewarm Response to Re-Activation of Trilateral Mechanism


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



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





6. (C) Kanbay appeared pessimistic that re-activation of the
Iraq-Turkey-U.S. trilateral process for combating the PKK
would yield good results. He said the GOT had requested for
starters a few concrete steps to activate the trilateral
fully, including closure of one or two PKK camps, the arrest
of 8-10 terrorists, and a clear declaration by the GOI that
PKK is a terrorist group. More than one year on, he said,
not much has been accomplished. One problem, he noted, was
that the mechanism was intended to involve three sides, not
four. The GOT had rejected the idea of including Iraq's
deputy envoy KRG Minister of Interior Karim Sinjari in the
process.


Istanbul Ministerial Preparations


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





7. (C) Kanbay noted that FM Babacan's recent regional travel
was focused on preparing for the Istanbul Neighbors' Meeting
on November 2-3. Babacan passed the draft communique to the
GOI, Kanbay said, and requested that the GOI not make changes
to it.
CROCKER