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Cablegate: Unami and Mnf-I Briefing to the Security Council

VZCZCXRO4371
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0396/01 1232102
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 022102Z MAY 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4206
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000396

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: UNAMI AND MNF-I BRIEFING TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

1. (U) Summary: As mandated by resolution, the Security
Council held a debate April 28 to discuss the United Nations
Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI), as well as the
Multi-National Force in Iraq (MNF-I). Undersecretary-General
for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe briefed for the UN, and
painted a largely optimistic picture of the situation in Iraq
and the UN's role, observing that the "UN,s reputation (in
Iraq) is growing." Ambassador Khalilzad briefed on behalf of
MNF-I, and noted that Iran,s illegal aid to armed groups in
Iraq poses a serious threat to Iraqi and multinational
forces. The UK, France and Iraq made similar statements
calling on Iraq,s neighbors to cease interfering in its
internal affairs. All Council members applauded UNAMI,s
increased capability, and many members expressed concern
regarding human rights in Iraq, especially Iraqi and
Coalition detention centers. Russia and South Africa noted
the expectation that the MNF-I mandate will not be renewed,
and called for clarity regarding future arrangements. The
Russian PermRep also criticized the UN's analysis of the
situation in Iraq as selective. End summary.

UN, U.S. BRIEF THE COUNCIL

2. (U) After visiting Baghdad and attending the third
expanded ministerial meeting of Iraq and its neighbors on
April 22, U/SYG Pascoe told the Security Council that
political and security improvements in Iraq have opened a
window of opportunity for sustained progress. He called on
Iraqi leaders to "maintain that positive momentum and take
further steps to resolve other fundamental issues that
continue to divide Iraqis." Pascoe said the UN is doing its
part, in keeping with its expanded mandate under UNSCR 1770.
Its "top priority" is the resolution of disputed internal
boundaries. In this regard, it had conducted field visits to
several disputed areas and is working to build confidence and
momentum among the parties. Other key areas for UNAMI are
election preparations, humanitarian assistance to alleviate
"the suffering of Iraq,s refugees and internally displaced
persons," and reporting on human rights. Pascoe said three
UNHCR personnel have deployed to Baghdad. Furthermore, the
ceiling for UNAMI staff has grown to 140 international staff
in Baghdad, and 40 international staff in Irbil. It has also
re-established its presence in Basrah, and is considering
expanding its presence to Najaf, Ramadi and Kirkuk. In order
to assist the UN in this expansion, Pascoe called on states
"to provide additional financial and logistical resources for
the Mission, including funding for the new integrated United
Nations facility in Baghdad, and additional required security
arrangements, in particular the provision of additional
military advisers to UNAMI."

3. (U) Ambassador Khalilzad spoke on behalf of MNF-I, and
agreed with Pascoe that there have been security, political
and economic gains. He cautioned that "progress has been
uneven in certain fronts, and many challenges remain." MNF-I
and UNAMI "must work to sustain the momentum achieved."
Security incidents and related violence has decreased, except
for a rise during the recent violence in Baghdad and Basrah.
The Ambassador said this violence "highlighted Iran,s
destabilizing influence and actions" and noted that Iran,s
actions pose a "significant threat to Iraqi and multinational
forces and to the stability and sovereignty of Iraq." He
also stated that "These transfers of arms are fundamentally
inconsistent with the restrictions to such transfers to Iraq
adopted by this Council under its Chapter VII authority." An
hour later, the Iranian Mission circulated a letter to the
Security Council (e-mailed to the Department) that rejected
these statements, calling them "unfounded allegations."

COUNCIL MEMBERS, IRAQ REACT

4. (U) The majority of member states acknowledged the
progress being made, raised concern regarding the recent
violence in Baghdad and Basrah, and thanked UNAMI for its
efforts. Most members, including Libya, China, Indonesia,
Belgium, and France, expressed concern about refugees and
internally displaced persons, as well as the human rights of
detainees in detention centers. Several countries, including
Libya and Panama, called for the legal rights of detainees to
be respected "in all detention facilities," a reference to
MNF-I detention facilities.

5. (U) France, the UK and Iraq all implicitly echoed
Ambassador Khalilzad,s criticism of Iran,s actions in Iraq.
Ambassador Ripert of France said, "any direct or indirect
intervention by a neighboring country in Iraq can only lead
to greater instability and risks for all." He also called on
more countries to open diplomatic missions in Baghdad.
Ambassador Pierce of the UK added "any external links to
armed groups in Iraq outside the political process, either
through the supply of weapons, training or funding, are
unacceptable." Iraqi Ambassador Bayati echoed the Prime

USUN NEW Y 00000396 002 OF 002


Minister's call on neighboring countries to prevent terrorist
infilitation into Iraq and to block funding for terrorist
groups.

6. (U) Russian PermRep Churkin gave a noticeably negative
intervention, asserting that the recent UNAMI report
"objectively reflects the situation in Iraq, although at the
same time, despite its minute attention to facts, there is an
obvious attempt to tone down or side-step the most acute
problems in present day Iraq." He also asked why the UNAMI
report no longer addressed the issue of security contractors
in Iraq. Churkin expressed Russia,s gratitude for UNAMI,s
humanitarian and electoral work, but urged great caution with
regard to disputed internal boundaries, especially Kirkuk.
Churkin, along with South African PermRep Kumalo, noted that
the MNF-I mandate will expire at the end of the year, and
asked for greater clarity on future plans. He said many
Iraqis consider MNF-I to be "occupying troops" and warned
that replacing the MNF-I mandate with a bilateral agreement -
in other words, a "mere change of signs" - would not meet
with Russian approval. Finally, Churkin and Kumalo reminded
the UN that they expected a briefing regarding the
Development Fund for Iraq, which Churkin called a "closed and
opaque structure."

7. (U) Iraqi Ambassador Bayati gave a comprehensive report on
the situation in Iraq. He noted the ratification of the
Justice and Accountability Law, the General Amnesty Law, and
the UN Convention against Corruption. Regarding the recent
military operations in Baghdad and Basra, Bayati said "it is
a message to all outlaws that they can no longer be above the
law - the message reflects the justice and neutrality of the
Iraqi Government and its non-sectarian orientation in
punishing all outlaws and sustaining those who abide by State
law." On the diplomatic front, Bayati said Iraq was looking
forward to the International Compact meeting in Stockholm at
the end of May, and urged all countries to reopen their
embassies in Iraq.
Khalilzad

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