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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08BAGHDAD67 2008-01-09 15:53:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

TIME FOR TALKS BETWEEN KRG AND TURKEY

Tags:   PREL PGOV PINS PINR IZ 
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VZCZCXRO7950
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0067 0091553
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 091553Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5159
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0470
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 000067 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/08/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINS PINR IZ
SUBJECT: TIME FOR TALKS BETWEEN KRG AND TURKEY

REF: BAGHDAD 4199

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: Despite their strong reaction to Turkish
airstrikes, including Massoud Barzani,s refusal to meet
Secretary Rice (reftel), Iraqi Kurdish leaders are continuing

SIPDIS
to implement the anti-PKK measures they had previously
imposed. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani, and KRG Prime
Minister Nechirvan Barzani condemned the January 4 Diyarbakir
bombing, which appears to be an indication that they are
still committed to playing a constructive role in addressing
the PKK problem. We should move quickly to get political
contacts moving either bilaterally or trilaterally before
inevitable additional strikes by the Turks in retaliation for
PKK terror attacks in Turkey make it much more difficult for
the Kurds to participate. End Summary.



2. (C) Iraqi Kurds remain angry at recent Turkish
airstrikes, but are not at this time retaliating through the
Iraqi political process. The Kurdistan Alliance like other
blocs straggled back last week from a long COR vacation, but
well over half their deputies attended the session on January
3rd, and we expect nearly all to return within the coming
week. There remains a possibility the Kurds will slow-roll
key legislation to discredit Prime Minister Maliki, with whom
they are engaged in a high-stakes struggle over political and
economic issues (reftel), but we have no indication they have
done this and expect them to vote for the de-Ba,athification
law as planned.

KRG Carries On With Anti-PKK Measures


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





3. (C) KRG leaders, while protesting the airstrikes
publicly, appear privately to be sticking to the measures
against the PKK they previously imposed. Talabani and
Massoud Barzani in late December assured the Ambassador the
KRG would continue roadblocks, financial interdictions, and
heightened airport security. Anecdotal evidence and
reporting in other channels confirms the restrictions remain
in place and have made normal operation more difficult for
the PKK, but even the most diligent application of these
promises probably will not prevent the PKK,s ability to
conduct attacks as they are thought to have many alternate
supply routes through mountain passes and a good stockpile of
weapons.



4. (C) After the terrorist bombing in Diyarbakir, both
Talabani and Nechirvan Barzani made strong statements
condemning the attack and offering condolences to the
victims. We take this as a signal (as was Talabani,s
statement to the Ambassador that he is still willing to
travel to Ankara) that the KRG leaders are still willing to
engage with Turkey on a solution to the PKK problem, despite
their suspicions of Turkish motives vis-a-vis the KRG.



5. (C) With Turkish attacks in Northern Iraq all but
inevitable in the wake of the recent terrorist bombings, it
is all the more urgent that we get the Turks and Iraqis
talking about their joint problem while KRG leaders still
have some political space to participate. Under the
circumstances, a return trip by Foreign Minister Zebari to
Anakra might be a relatively non-controversial way to begin.
This would complement the constructive value we think will
come from planned Jan 15 visit to Baghdad by TGS Deputy
Saygun, who has been invited by General Petraeus. Talabani
should be taken at his word as soon as the Turks are willing
to have him.
CROCKER