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Cablegate: International Compact with Iraq Ministerial

VZCZCXRO3217
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHSW #0224 1341600
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131600Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5052
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BERN 000224

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/I AND EUR/AGS (Y.SAINT-ANDRE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN PGOV PREL IZ SZ
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL COMPACT WITH IRAQ MINISTERIAL

REF: STATE 43799

1. (SBU) Acting POL Counselor discussed the message in reftel
on May 9 with Rascha Osman, Swiss MFA Iraq Desk Officer.
Osman reported that MFA State Secretary Ambuehl (Deputy
Minister equivalent) will lead the Swiss delegation to the
May 29 International Compact with Iraq (ICI) Ministerial in
Stockholm. MFA A/S equivalent for Middle East Affairs Livia
Leu will accompany Ambuehl, as will the Swiss Ambassador to
Sweden.

2. (SBU) Osman said the success of Iraqi reconstruction is
important to the Swiss government. She noted that the GOS
reached agreement with Iraq in 2007 regarding Iraqi debt to
Switzerland. That arrangement included Switzerland forgiving
80 percent of the Iraqi debt.

3. (SBU) Osman said that Switzerland has provided some
technical assistance within Iraq, but generally has found it
difficult to provide such assistance via its liaison office
in Baghdad. The GOS therefore has focused its support on
assistance to Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria. Osman
reported that Switzerland has doubled its assistance to Iraqi
refugees since last year, expecting to reach USD 4.1 million
for 2008. She said that the MFA also is considering a
training course in federalism for Iraqi government officials,
sometime later this year. The training would be based on a
similar study visit provided to Iraqi officials in 2006.
CONEWAY

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