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Cablegate: Co-Financing Headlines Irffi Donors Committee

VZCZCXRO8011
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4006 3441627
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101627Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4761
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 004006

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN EINV IZ
SUBJECT: CO-FINANCING HEADLINES IRFFI DONORS COMMITTEE
MEETING

REF: A. ROME 2415

B. TAECKER - RIES EMAIL OF 12/6/07
C. BAGHDAD 2550

1. (SBU) Begin Summary: Ambassador De Martino chaired the
first International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq
(IRFF) Donors Committee meeting following Bari. Recently
arrived UN SRSG Steffan De Mistura also gave opening remarks
during a mostly unremarkable meeting. MoPDC senior advisor
Dr. Faik Abdul Rasool was the sole GOI representative
present. EMIN expressed our support for a co-financing scheme
governing future donor assistance projects, a concept paper
for which is scheduled to be completed by January 2008. End
Summary.

--------------------
IRFFI Donors Meeting
--------------------

2. (SBU) Ambassador Gianludovico De Martino, Director of
Italian MFA Iraq Task Force, chaired the December 8 IRFFI
Donor Committee meeting. UN Special Representative of the
Secretary-General De Mistura's opening remarks highlighted

SIPDIS
2008 as a window of opportunity to ensure security gains in
Iraq are capitalized upon. He conveyed the UN's position that
new projects should incorporate a greater degree of
co-financing from the GOI to demonstrate Iraqi ownership and
underscore GOI sovereignty. De Mistura hailed the IRFFI Terms
of Reference which were approved at the Bari meeting as they
reinforced the harmonization of IRFFI and the International
Compact with Iraq (ICI).

3. (SBU) De Martino indicated that a concept paper for the
cost sharing arrangement would be disseminated by the end of
January for donor review. The paper would provide donors with
standard agreement text to formalize the cost sharing
arrangement. De Martino added that IRFFI planned to hold
three meetings in 2008: one located in the Gulf; one in
Baghdad; and another in Europe. The goal of the meetings
would be to encourage private sector investment in Iraq as
well as to secure additional donations for IRFFI, especially
from GCC countries.

4. (SBU) Dr. Faik Abdul Rasool expressed support for the
three planned private sector investment conferences in 2008.
He claimed that progress on ICI implementation was ongoing,
citing the formation of Thematic Working Groups. He
complained about the slow movement on establishing the ICI
Secretariat and noted the difficulty for Iraqis resident

SIPDIS
outside of the International Zone to participate in meetings
within the IZ.

5. (SBU) EMIN expressed USG support for the co-financing
proposal. He stated that before contemplating conferences
aimed at attracting private sector investment, the GOI needs
to stand up a National Investment Commission as well as
secure passage of the hydrocarbon framework law. EMIN also
underscored the fact that the international community in
tandem with the GOI must take advantage of the window of
opportunity that has opened following the substantial
improvements in security.

------------------------------
De Martino US Embassy Meetings
------------------------------

6. (SBU) De Martino requested separate meetings on December 8
to discuss donor aid issues at the US Embassy with EMIN,
economic section, Treasury, Office of Provincial Affairs
(OPA), Iraq Transition Assistance Office (ITAO), and MNSTC-I.
During the discussion, De Martino strongly lobbied for
coordination of IRFFI, ICI and bilateral donor development
projects. ITAO opening up the Donor Assistance Database (DAD)
to both the Iraqis and the international donor community was
raised and was endorsed by EMIN. Embassy will follow up on
this initiative. (COMMENT: Econoff also was approached by the
World Bank Deputy Andrew Laing on December 7 to open up the
DAD to the international donor community and Iraqis as part
of the ICI implementation.) In addition, the topic of
"internationalizing PRTs" was broached with OPA--areas of
focus for the international member could be local budget
execution, monitoring IRRFI and ICI projects, encouraging
private investment and/or running small grants from country
of origin.


BUTENIS

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