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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09THEHAGUE286
2009-05-06 11:51:00
SECRET
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

CWC: MEETINGS ON IRAQ ON THE MARGINS OF EC-56

Tags:   PARM  PREL  CWC 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTC #0286/01 1261151
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 061151Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2802
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0137
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1837
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC//OSAC PRIORITY
						S E C R E T THE HAGUE 000286 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR ISN/CB, VCI/CCA, L/NPV (BROWN),
SECDEF FOR OSD/GSA/CN,CP>
SECDEF FOR OSD/GC (WAGER)
JOINT STAFF FOR DD PMA-A FOR WTC
NSC FOR LUTES
WINPAC FOR WALTER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2019
TAGS: PARM PREL CWC
SUBJECT: CWC: MEETINGS ON IRAQ ON THE MARGINS OF EC-56

Classified By: Janet E. Beik for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

(U) This is CWC-24-09

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (SBU) Having submitted its initial declaration
in March, Iraq made its debut as a "possessor
state" at Executive Council (EC)-56. U.S.
representatives in Washington, Baghdad and The
Hague worked closely with counterparts to set up a
series of preparatory meetings with Iraq, the UK,
and members of the Technical Secretariat.
Preparatory work paid off, and Iraq's first
briefing at the destruction informals was detailed,
transparent, and spoke clearly to the unique
challenges Iraq faces in securing, assessing, and
destroying its chemical weapons. While much work
remains to be done on plans for destruction,
establishing deadlines, and preparing for
inspections, Iraq's first real interaction with the
Council set a positive standard for transparency.
The series of meetings were also a useful
opportunity for U.S. and Iraqi counterparts to
discuss possibilities for future assistance from
the U.S., and the need for formal requests.



2. (SBU) Iraq's presentation and the U.S. and UK
statements during the destruction informals are
reported by Septel.



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

--
INTRODUCTORY MEETING WITH THE U.S., UK AND IRAQ


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

--



3. (SBU) On April 16, U.S. Delreps held an
initial meeting with UK reps Clive Rowland, Jim
McGilly, and Chris McCormack. Participants briefly
discussed the current state of Iraq's preparations
for the upcoming Executive Council session and
outlined a program of work for the coming days.
The delegations were then joined by Dr. Mohammed
Jawad Al Sharaa (Director General of the Iraqi
National Monitoring Directorate), Mr. Abbas Fadhil
Al-Khafaji (First Secretary, Embassy of Iraq in The
Hague), and Dr. Abbas Kadhom Obaid Abbas (First
Secretary of the Iraqi Mission in Geneva).



4. (C) Al Sharaa explained that the remaining
members of the delegation from Baghdad had obtained
visas and would be arriving shortly. He then noted
that Iraq had updated its presentation for the
destruction informals (April 20) with additional
photos of the storage bunkers and comments on
Iraq's readiness to meet its CWC obligations.
Among these comments was the fact that Iraq is not
yet fully capable of identifying, securing, and
destroying recovered CW munitions and will not be
until the U.S. has completed training of Iraqi
Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) personnel,
expected in 2010. Al Sharaa also highlighted the
fact that Iraq does not know how to characterize or
destroy what remains in the bunkers at Muthanna and
that he hoped U.S. forces would be able to provide
security in the area, and possibly for inspections.

Finally, he stated that Iraq would recommend
against the Secretariat conducting initial
inspections in 2009, citing expected instability
surrounding elections later this year.



5. (SBU) U.S. Delrep thanked Dr. Al Sharaa for the
update, and indicated that while the Iraq's
presentation provided an effective overview of the
Qpresentation provided an effective overview of the
historical aspects of Iraq's CW program, it still
needed to acknowledge the work that lay ahead in
terms of destroying remaining CW and former CW
production facilities. Delrep also emphasized the
importance of Iraq clearly explaining the unique
security and technical challenges it faces, and
their possible impact on verification activities.
Al Sharaa made several references to the hundreds
of UNSCOM destruction certificates Iraq has on
file. Delreps explained that this did not
necessarily equate to destruction in accordance
with the terms of the CWC.



6. (C) Iraqi authorities were receptive to
revisions suggested by the U.S. and UK, but
expressed concern that they would be unable to
develop a General Plan for Destruction without
further information, such as the contents of the Al
Muthanna bunkers and the additional measures
required for complete destruction of the former CW
production facilities. Al Sharaa stated the Iraq
would likely require U.S. assistance; U.S. Delreps
emphasized the importance of formal requests for
assistance.



7. (C) U.S. and UK reps reminded the Iraqi
delegation of plans to make brief statements on
recovered items during the destruction informals.
In a remark that seemed out of place, but could
indicate an unexpected familiarity with recent
legal discussions with the Secretariat, Al Sharaa
clearly stated that it would not be acceptable to
submit U.S. and UK information as supplements to
Iraq's declaration, nor would Iraq be able to
accept reporting on future recoveries from U.S.
forces.



8. (C) Delegations also discussed possible
questions that could arise following presentations
by Iraq, the U.S., and the UK. The U.S. and UK
recommended Iraq only answer questions that clearly
fell within the purview of the Convention.
Delegations agreed to meet the following morning
with the Secretariat and to follow up as needed
over the weekend.



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


MEETINGS WITH THE TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT


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





9. (S) On April 17, at the request of the
Secretariat, the U.S. and UK delegations met prior
to the meeting with Iraq to continue preparations
for the EC. TS participants included Dominique
Anelli (Head, Chemical Demilitarization Branch),
Ichiro Akiyama (Director, Inspectorate Division),
Stephen Wade (Head, Declarations Branch), Donata
Rogarabamu (Senior Legal Officer), and other
officials from the Verification division. The
purpose of this pre-meeting turned out to be a
continuing effort on the part of the Secretariat to
get the U.S. to revise its submission on rounds
recovered in Iraq. TS officials stated that the
more informal route the UK had chosen presented
minimal legal and administrative difficulties, and
did not seem to have concerns with the UK's
declaration of Schedule 1 samples sent back to the
UK for analysis.



10. (C) The legal officer noted that it was
difficult to determine which provisions of the
Convention applied in the case of the recoveries,
and reiterated that the U.S. submission of the
information as a formal declaration raised a number
Qinformation as a formal declaration raised a number
of questions. She suggested that one possible
reference could be paragraph 1 of Article IX, but
that a more plausible basis could be UN Security
Council Resolution 5223. U.S. Delrep replied that
Washington was considering the matter and that the
U.S. would inform the TS immediately of any
possible changes.



11. (SBU) The meeting then shifted to a working
session with the Iraqi delegation to further refine
Iraq's presentation for the destruction informals.
In addition to Iraqi officials present at meetings
on April 16, the Iraqi delegation included
Brigadier General Ali Kadhim Mohaisen al-Saeedi
(Head of the Iraqi Army Chemical School) and Mr.
Hussein Shamki Jabor (Ministry of Industry).
Participants reviewed Iraq's slides and suggested a
number of revisions to improve the clarity and
accuracy of the presentation. Throughout the
presentation, Iraqi officials clearly wanted to
emphasize that any CW being discussed was a product
of the previous regime.



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


FOLLOW-UP WITH IRAQI DELEGATION


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





12. (SBU) On April 18, the U.S. Del hosted a
follow-up meeting with Iraq to gauge progress on
Iraq's presentation and plan for destruction. In
addition to participants in previous meetings, the
Iraqi delegation included Mr. Mohanad Talib Kareem
Al-Hilli, the only Iraqi who has participated in
all preparatory meetings held in Amman, Jordan.
Al-Hilli reported that he had just arrived from
Istanbul, where he had participated in the OPCW's
workshop on Universality, and noted that the
Director General had inquired about the conditions
of the bunkers at Al Muthanna.



13. (C) Delreps informed Iraqi officials of the
U.S. decision to retract its declaration on
recovered rounds and submit in its place a letter
to the Director General that would be available to
State Parties upon request. The Iraqi delegation
had no comments. U.S. Delreps reminded Iraqi
officials of the need to establish a process for
reporting future U.S. recoveries to Iraq's National
Authority. To this end, Delreps recommended Iraqi
officials meet with senior Defense Department
counterparts on the margins of the EC.



14. (C) Delreps inquired as to why Iraq had not
declared bunkers 13 and 41 at Al Muthanna as CW
storage facilities. Al Sharaa explained that Iraq
had been reluctant to do so, as the majority of the
complex had only been used for the storage of
conventional weapons. Delreps informed Al Sharaa
that Iraq could limit the boundaries of the
declared storage facility to the area immediately
surrounding the two bunkers, which would thereby
limit the inspectable area. Al Sharaa agreed to
discuss this further with the Secretariat. He also
noted that Iraq was considering whether to destroy
or convert the two working laboratory buildings at
the Al Rashad former chemical weapons production
facility.



15. (SBU) The Iraqi delegation stated that Iraq
had, with TS assistance, drafted a General Plan for
Chemical Weapons Destruction and provided a copy of
the draft to the U.S. Al Sharaa added that U.S.
suggestions for revisions to the informals
presentation had been incorporated, although an
updated draft was not available for review.
Qupdated draft was not available for review.



16. (SBU) The delegations discussed the security
situation in Iraq and U.S. reps reiterated the
importance of clearly explaining this to States
Parties. Al Sharaa said that the situation has
improved since the last round of discussions in
Amman, and expressed hope that the U.S. Army might
provide security for verification activities. U.S.
reps reminded him of the need for a formal request
for any form of assistance. Al Sharaa asked what
level request would be most appropriate. He also
noted that the Director General had indicated to
him that he may send a small team from the
Secretariat to Iraq in the near future to assess
the situation. Delegations also discussed the
need for additional U.S. training of Iraq
counterparts; U.S. reps stated that the U.S. was
willing to provide training that would build on the
initial session held in Baghdad in December 2008.
However, the U.S. requested that, in addition to a
formal request, Iraq should submit a paper
outlining its own priorities so the U.S. could
better structure future assistance efforts.



17. (SBU) In closing, the U.S. provided an informal
list of questions and answers that Iraq might
consider in preparation for the upcoming EC.



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



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


MEETING WITH OSD POLICY OFFICE DIRECTOR GROSS AND
IRAQI OFFICIALS


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



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





18. (SBU) On April 20, Laura Gross (Office
Director, Combating WMD Policy, OSD Policy) and
Delreps met with the Iraqi delegation to discuss
future requests for assistance. Iraqi attendees
included Mohammed Jawad Al Sharaa; Abbas Kadhom
Obaid Abbas, Abbas fadhil Al-Khafaji, and General
Ali Khadem Mehseen.



19. (SBU) During the meeting between US and Iraqi
officials, the United States offered assistance to
Iraq for CWC implementation, and noted that members
of Congress had been briefed on CW destruction in
Iraq and had indicated they would be supportive.
Gross noted that the U.S. requires a formal letter
of request for assistance and provided the Iraqi
delegation with a sample letter that had been used
for previous requests.



20. (SBU) Iraq expressed appreciation for U.S.
assistance and stressed the need for technical
assistance. The Iraqi delegation noted that several
countries had engaged Iraq on possible assistance,
but stated that Iraq preferred to work with the
U.S. as "no MOU would be needed" and the United
States was already very familiar in working with
their government. The Iraqi delegation also
indicated that it would be preferable to hold
workshops in Iraq. The U.S. stressed the
importance of Iraq working closely with the
Technical Secretariat, as Secretariat officials had
significant expertise and could provide assistance.



21. (SBU) The U.S. delegation asked for Iraq's
assessment of the current on-going cooperation
between MNFI and the Iraqi MOD in developing the
Chemical School. Iraqi officials indicated that
they were very pleased with the level of
coordination.



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


U.S./IRAQI DISCUSSIONS ON REPORTING FUTURE CW
RECOVERIES


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





22. (SBU) On April 22, EC Representative Dr. Robert
Q22. (SBU) On April 22, EC Representative Dr. Robert
Mikulak and Delreps met with Dr. Al Sharaa, General
Ali, and other Iraqi reps to discuss how to provide
information to the Government of Iraq on future
recoveries of chemical munitions made by U.S.
Forces in Iraq. Al Sharaa stated that he would
prefer that the Iraqi National Authority receive
the information from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.
DoD Reps explained briefly how information on
recoveries is reported by U.S. Forces in Iraq to
concerned DoD entities and the U.S. National
Authority. They articulated the importance of this
review chain to ensure that all recoveries are
evaluated by CWC treaty experts and properly
reported. Additionally, they explained the need to
provide GOI with information for both the quarterly
reports and the F38 notifications.



23. (SBU) To facilitate Al Sharaa's request, both
sides agreed that a point of contact in the Iraqi
Ministry of Defense should be identified and the
U.S. Department of Defense will transmit all
necessary information to the MOD so that Iraq can
produce the F38 notification and quarterly reports.
Concurrently, the information will also be sent to
the U.S. National Authority and the U.S. Delegation
for situational awareness and to field questions,
should any arise. Al Sharaa stated that he would
like the information only and not draft
notifications because he would like the GOI to
produce these forms. General Ali added that he has
a good working relationship with MNF-I and the U.S.
Department of Defense and that he is confident that
an arrangement can be set up between the two
Defense ministries to transmit the data.



24. (SBU) General Ali and Dr. Sharaa also expressed
an interest in additional training on the CWC as
the National Authority and the Iraqi Chemical
Company are stood up and more functional, as well
as assistance in meeting CWC treaty obligations.
General Ali specifically mentioned the need for
training on detection of chemical munitions so that
the Chemical Company can be operational by the 2010
transition date. DOD Rep reiterated, and both
officials acknowledged, that any request should
come in writing to facilitate and expedite future
assistance.



25. (U) BEIK SENDS.
GALLAGHER