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Cablegate: Chalabi's Provision of Services Committee - April 15

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PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1245/01 1131303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221303Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6966
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 001245

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL IZ REL UK
SUBJECT: CHALABI'S PROVISION OF SERVICES COMMITTEE - APRIL 15

1. SUMMARY: At the April 15 Provision of Services Committee a large
portion of time was dedicated to service delivery in Sadr City. The
Deputy Minister of Transportation attended and provided a report to
the committee on civil aviation in Iraq. Again, water was on the
agenda with the Ministry of Water Resources in attendance for the
first time. The Baghdad Water Authority, a division of the Amanat,
as well as the Director of the Karkh Water Treatment Plant were also
there to discuss water. END SUMMARY.

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Civil Aviation: Report from Ministry of Transportation
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2. Following up with last week's discussion, the Ministry of
Transportation (MoTrans) prepared a report that detailed issues and
concerns with Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) specifically, and
civil aviation in Iraq, generally. According to the report, BIAP is
burdened with an abundance of contractors and Government of Iraq
(GoI) presence. The report suggests that contracts be re-bid and
include billeting for the contractors outside of the terminal. The
report also noted that there were too many Government of Iraq
ministries with office space at the airport. The committee suggested
that the ministries coordinate with the MoTrans when special guests
or government officials are transiting through BIAP in lieu of
maintaining office space. The MoTrans stated that this space could
instead be used for needed passport, customs and health offices. Dr.
Chalabi will send a memo to all ministries and organizations with
office space at BIAP, requesting them to reduce their presence. Dr.
Chalabi encouraged the MoTrans to lease the space for additional
revenues. However, Chalabi again reminded the ministry that they
could not keep their revenues, but if they needed more money they
should see the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

3. In addition, the Deputy Minister of Transportation complained
that the Ministry of Interior (MoI), Iraq's police, are crowding
passenger areas. The MoI did send a representative to the meeting
who responded - "coordinate with us (MoI) and we will work to
accommodate your needs". MoTrans underscored the necessity of MoI's
presence under extraordinary circumstances, but civil aviation is
now ready to be controlled by the Ministry of Transportation. The
Provision of Services Committee will draft a memo to that effect and
emphasize that civil aviation should meet international standards.

4. MoTrans also sought better coordination with the Amanat and
funding for two airports. (Note: It is unclear whether the funding
is for new airports or for the rehabilitation of existing airports.
End Note) General Snyder followed up with MoTrans request to control
the hangers at BIAP. He commented that the U.S. Mission and
Multi-National Force is keenly aware of the new planes purchased by
the GoI. A short term accommodation for their maintenance is being
discussed by GOI/USG while a longer term arrangement will likely
take until early 2009.

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Services to Sadr City
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5. Dr. Chalabi again highlighted that 50% of all Baghdadis are
currently under a curfew and those people are becoming increasingly
frustrated. According to Dr. Chalabi, many of the locals fear that
Sadr City will be segregated by the addition of new security walls.
He said that there is no systematic way to reach out to the locals
to address these misunderstandings. Chalabi also claimed that
several militias have U.S. weapons.

6. The Ministry of Electricity (MoE) immediately followed with a
more optimistic tone, noting that the substation in Sadr City
referenced at last week's meeting is now working. The Deputy
Minister of Electricity commented that entrance into Sadr city
remained problematic. He also said sectors 1 through 10 were
difficult to survey due to ongoing violence. Dr. Chalabi will send a
memo to the Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) to ease transit
requirements for the MoE. Dr. Chalabi also called upon Multi
National Division - Baghdad (MND-B) to provide security to MoE's
employees in Sadr City.

7. The Ministry of Trade (MoT) also reported good news - the empty
warehouses in Sadr City were not due to corruption or theft, but
were empty because the rations had already been distributed.
Unfortunately, the Deputy Minister reported that a warehouse in Sadr
City for the Hurriyah area was under militia control which has
prevented Hurriyah from receiving their fare share of rations.

8. The Deputy Minister said that 17,000 bags of flour have been
delivered to Sadr City. 123 trucks of cooking oil bound for Sadr
City is held up in Abu Ghraib by the Muthanna Brigade. Dr. Chalabi
asked the Deputy Minister of Defense to order the brigade to allow
these trucks to pass. (Note: The Deputy Minister immediately excused
himself from the room to place the call. After returning, he did not
offer any updates. End Note) The Deputy Minister of Trade provided a
list of May ration items that will be problematic to deliver to Sadr
City because of stock shortages and/or transportation complications.
Among them was milk, beans, rice, flour and soap. Dr. Chalabi tasked

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his staff to coordinate with the MoT regarding the times, dates,
number of trucks and contents for delivery to Sadr City. This
information will in turn be shared with the BOC to minimize
checkpoint delays. Chalabi emphasized that transportation, not
distribution, is the issue.

9. The Ministry of Trade also complained that their representative
to the BOC was ignored by them. Deputy Minister Soiba said that it
shouldn't require a call from a Deputy Minister to initiate
coordination at the BOC. The ministry has a representative at the
BOC. The BOC said in response that the representative doesn't even
show up for work. As a result, Dr. Chalabi requested his staff to
facilitate coordination between the BOC and Ministry of Trade. He
will send a committee representative to Modafa Square for this
purpose. He recommended that Trade do the same. ITAO Director raised
a question about the Prime Minister's request to deliver additional
rations to Sadr City. The Deputy Minister replied that there were
not enough food supplies to honor that request, but that they could
be purchased. The Ministry of Finance would have to provide an
additional $37 millionfor Trade to purchase an additional month's
food rations.

10. The Baghdad Water Authority maintained that water service in
Sadr City and other curfewed areas was normal. He asked Chalabi for
some appreciation of their efforts. Dr. Chalabi will issue a memo of
commendation to BWA, but pointedly stated that he will not recognize
the Russafa Water District because they have not dealt with expected
summer water shortages.

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Water Issues
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11. The Karkh Water Treatment Plant Director said that the Karkh
Water Treatment Plant is currently operating at nearly double
capacity from the pervious regime's ownership. According to the
Director, production currently hovers at about 2.4 million cubic
meters and is expected to increase to 2.5 million cubic meters in
the near future. The Plant Director gave a detailed report to Dr.
Chalabi. The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) was in attendance at
this meeting. They discussed two possible improvements to the Karkh
Water Treatment Plant. A permanent solution would entail the
construction of a barrier in the Tigris River to increase the flow
of water near the plant. This would cost between 3 and 3.5 million
dinars. A temporary solution includes dredging the river. The MoWR
agreed with MND-B's proposal to float a smaller dredger under a
trestle bridge in Taji to assist with this effort. They also offered
to help the Amanat repair their larger, currently inoperable,
dredger. The Provision of Services Committee will send a letter to
the Mayor of Baghdad suggesting that the Amanat build and finance
the permanent solution.

12. There was further discussion on low water levels in the Tigris.
MoWR contended that water levels were primarily dictated by
conditions outside of Iraq. The BWA suggested a floating dam to help
control the water levels. Dr. Chalabi asked for a report on this
issue.

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Chalabi Responds to MND-B Memo
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13. General Milano sent a letter to the Provision of Services
Committee last week regarding the Ministry of Trade's accusation
that MND-B wanted to take over several of their grain warehouses in
the Taji area. The memo maintained that it was the MoI who wanted to
borrow unused space at the warehouses to emplace a temporary Iraqi
Police station until a permanent station can be built. The MoI is
working the issue with the MoTrade and Coalition Forces are not
involved. The letter did note MND-B's support for MoI on this issue.
Dr. Chalabi will send a follow-up memo to Trade.

Butenis

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