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Cablegate: Karbala: Hosts Municipalities Conference and Oil Minister

VZCZCXRO2210
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHIHL #0113 2061546
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251546Z JUL 07
FM REO HILLAH
TO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0922
RUEHIHL/REO HILLAH 0984

UNCLAS HILLAH 000113

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EIND EPET
SUBJECT: KARBALA: HOSTS MUNICIPALITIES CONFERENCE AND OIL MINISTER

1. (U) This is a PRT Karbala cable.

2. (U) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: This week Karbala's elected
government officials appear to be more publicly pursuing
reconstruction projects and efforts, perhaps in preparation for
provincial elections. The Governor hosted the first regional
municipality conference focused on improving public service
delivery and included the participation of delegations from
Wasit, Najaf, Diwaniyah and Babil. Oil Minister, Hussain
Sharistani visited Karbala to preside over the formal ribbon
cutting and laying of the foundation stone for a processed oil
storage facility. END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

3.(U) On July 14 and 15 the Karbala Government hosted a
conference on municipal services. More than 150 civil servants
and elected officials from Diwaniyah, Babil, Najaf and Wasit
joined the host delegation from Karbala to discuss public
service delivery. The delegations presented their best
practices on public works and collectively established a
regional municipality coordination committee. Central
government participation included the Ministry of
Municipalities, Information Technology Office and Iraqi
Parliament member Muthihr al-Hakeem. Conference outcomes
included a decision to privatize waste collection and plans to
increase private sector involvement in public service delivery.
The five provinces appealed to the central government
representatives for assistance with several points: more and
coordination committee's first task is to develop
multi-provincial projects such as transfer stations, landfills
and recycling centers.

4.(U) On July 23, the Minister of Oil, Dr. Husain al-Sharistani
and Parliament representative Mudher al-Hakeem laid the
foundation stone for an oil product storage facility. It will
store an estimated 64 million liters of improved benzene and 20
million liters of white kerosene and LPG to meet the fuel needs
of Karbala. The completion of this project will precede the oil
refinery that was promised to Karbala in September 2006. The
oil refinery project is promised to process 150 thousand barrels
daily and provide four of the five south central provinces
(specifically: Najaf, Babil, and Diwaniyah) with needed fuel.

REED

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