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Cablegate: Iraq Briefing to Security Council

VZCZCXYZ0016
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0217/01 0781434
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191434Z MAR 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1539
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0574

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000217

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL PGOV UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: IRAQ BRIEFING TO SECURITY COUNCIL

REF: SECSTATE 31952

1. SUMMARY: Iraqi Vice President Abd al-Mahdi told the
Security Council that 2007 will be the year of civil peace
and unity in Iraq. The UN Security Council held March 15 its
quarterly open briefing (REFTEL) on the activities of the UN
Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and the Multinational
Forces - Iraq (MNF-I). The Iraqi Vice President reported
that the Baghdad Security Plan (BSP) has resulted in a
"noteworthy reduction of violence" and he underlined the
international community's responsibility to help Iraq defeat
the violent terrorist threat, which is funded and supported
by international terrorist networks. Special Representative
of the Secretary General to Iraq (SRSG) Qazi also noted the
"marked decrease in violence" due to the BSP. He told the
Council that the March 10 regional meeting in Baghdad was an
important step to build security and stability for Iraq.
Ambassador Wolff delivered the status report (REFTEL) on
behalf of MNF-I, stressing that the Iraqi government
continues its efforts to secure a stable future for Iraq's
citizens and progress in the political, economic, and
security arenas are all essential to helping Iraq achieve its
goals. Council members responded to the briefings with
support for UNAMI, the Iraqi government, and the
International Compact with Iraq (ICI), calls for Iraqi
national reconciliation and an inclusive political process,
and urgent appeals for assistance to Iraqi refugees and IDPs.
END SUMMARY.

SECURITY
--------

2. During the UN Security Council's March 15 quarterly open
briefing for the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and
the Multinational Forces - Iraq (MNF-I), SRSG Ashraf Qazi,
Ambassador Wolff, and Iraqi Vice President Abd al-Mahdi all
pointed to a reduction of violence due to the new Baghdad
Security Plan (BSP). Russia disputed that fact and said
there were "no significant results" from the BSP. Indonesia
welcomed Iraqi PM Maliki's plan to deal with armed groups and
China hoped the BSP would succeed to give hope to Baghdad
residents. France noted that the security situation remains
"grave."

3. All delegations underlined that a military solution alone
cannot achieve security and stability for Iraq. Most Council
members stressed that national reconciliation and an
inclusive and fair political process are the keys to security
and stability. Qatar stated that political solutions "cannot
be imported from abroad" but also noted that international
support is important for Iraq. The UK agreed that national
reconciliation is important, but also stated that the cycle
of violence and attacks must be stopped. The Iraqi Vice
President responded to Council members' heavy emphasis on the
need for an internal political solution by saying that Iraq
will "uphold its duties to promote national reconciliation,"
but much of the violence in Iraq is perpetrated by
international terrorists. This terrorism is funded and
supported by international networks and it is the
international community's responsibility to help Iraq fight
it.

4. Russia and France both called for a timeline for the
withdrawal of foreign troops, while Indonesia said that
foreign troops should be withdrawn when Iraq is ready in
order to avoid a security vacuum.

POLITICAL PROCESS
-----------------

5. SRSG Qazi welcomed the March 10 regional meeting in
Baghdad and said it was an important step to reducing
violence and increasing stability and eventually economic
prosperity in Iraq. Qazi underlined that no regional powers
at the March 10 meeting called for an MNF-I withdrawal. All
Council members joined Qazi in welcoming the regional meeting
in Baghdad. Italy encouraged Iraq to expand the meeting to
include other important players (namely Italy) and suggested
that G8 members participate. China told the Council that the
March 10 meeting had a "good atmosphere" and Russia said that
it looks forward to the follow-on Ministers meeting.

6. Vice President Abd al-Mahdi told the Council that Iraq had
made a strategic decision to pursue national reconciliation.
Qatar urged Iraq to include "all sects" in a political
solution to the country's problems. Slovakia noted that
de-ba'athification and the constitutional review are
important elements of the political process. Indonesia
praised Ayatollah Sistani's fatwa on the importance of
inter-sectarian tolerance and harmony and announced an April
2-3 conference in Indonesia on Iraqi national reconciliation.


ECONOMY
-------

7. Ambassador Wolff encouraged active participation by
regional and global partners in the International Compact
with Iraq (ICI) and called it critical to assisting Iraq's
development efforts. SRSG Qazi, Vice President Abd al-Mahdi
and Council members also fully supported the ICI as an
important component of Iraq's economic reconstruction and
development.

8. Russia said that the new hydrocarbon law should ensure
equal access to Iraq's natural resources and argued that all
companies from around the world should be on equal footing
when competing for contracts to work in the oil and gas
sectors. Russian companies are ready to participate in the
reconstruction of Iraq, the Russian represented said.

REFUGEES
--------

9. Many Council members expressed serious concern about the
deteriorating humanitarian situation of Iraqi refugees,
mostly in Syria and Jordan, and Iraqi IDPs. The Iraqi Vice
President said that IDPs would benefit from the success of
the BSP and 100 families have already been able to return
home. He welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) April 17-18 conference on the subject and hoped the
meeting would help "end the suffering" of the refugees.
Council members emphasized the importance of the UNHCR April
conference and pressed for concrete action. Qatar called the
refugees' situation a "real crisis" and France said it could
become a "genuine humanitarian emergency."

10. Before the meeting concluded, SRSG Qazi thanked Council
members for their strong support for UNAMI and the Iraqi Vice
President called on UN agencies to return to Iraq as
conditions become safer and thanked MNF-I for its help in
improving the security situation.
WOLFF

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