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Cablegate: Unsc Agrees to Zebari Request to Continue Mnf-I

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0527/01 1681913
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD00A53BB3 TOQ3009 632)
O 161913Z JUN 08 ZDS
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4433
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 1594

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000527

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY (PARA 3 SHOULD READ SBU)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM ECON UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: UNSC AGREES TO ZEBARI REQUEST TO CONTINUE MNF-I
MANDATE THROUGH 2008

Summary
--------

1. (SBU) As mandated by UNSCR 1790, the Security Council
discussed June 13 the mandate of MNF-I and arrangements
regarding DFI and the IAMB, and agreed to their continuation
for the remainder of the calendar year. Amb Khalilzad
reported on behalf of MNF-I, highlighting the decrease in
security incidents and improved proficiency of the ISF.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari also participated in
the meeting and provided an update on current developments in
Iraq, reporting that ISF "still are short of being able to
independently assume full responsibility for the maintenance
of security in all Iraqi territory." At the request of the
Russian delegation, UN Comptroller Warren Sach briefed on the
status of the DFI and the IAMB, focusing on the 2007 External
Audit, including weaknesses in internal controls. UN Adviser
Ibrahim Gambari delivered a briefing on behalf of UNAMI in
which he called for a redoubling of efforts to address human
rights issues, IDPs, and refugees.

2. (SBU) Russian PR Churkin warned that the SOFA should not
"enshrine" the indefinite presence of U.S. troops, and argued
a timetable for withdrawal would facilitate reconciliation.
He also said Russia believes there is a need to keep the
presence of MNF-I within the scope of the Security Council's
attention, and criticized the detention of minors. He
alleged a "chronic lack of transparency" in the management of
the DFI, and lamented the Security Council had taken no
"decisive measures" to deal with oil smuggling and
contracting irregularities. The South African DPR echoed
Russian views on the DFI and urged MNF-I to uphold
international humanitarian and human rights law. All Council
members welcomed the progress in Iraq, especially the
improvements in security, but several expressed concern about
the detainees, DFI management, IDPs and refugees.

Remarks by Iraqi Foreign Minister
---------------------------------

3. (SBU) Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari provided a comprehensive
update on the situation, highlighting the strengthened
capacity of the ISF and GOI's willingness to take action
regarding security, political, and economic measures to
strengthen national reconciliation. He cited ISF operations
in Basra and Sadr City as two examples of the GOI confronting
unlawful militias. Zebari credited Iraqis with reversing the
sectarian war in Iraq. He stated that the ISF are still
short of conducting independent operations and said Iraq
continues to need the assistance of MNF-I. Zebari also asked
for the continuation of the DFI and the IAMB arrangement, but
reiterated Iraq's request that the Council reconsider Iraq's
UNCC obligations, which he argued put pressure on the Iraqi
budget and reconstruction efforts. Of note, the Foreign
Minister deleted a sentence from his prepared remarks that
called upon the international community "to free Iraq from
the designation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter and
reinstate Iraq" as a member of the international community.

Sach Represents IAMB, Gambari Represents UNAMI
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (SBU) UN Controller Warren Sach provided a brief summary
of the scope of the DFI and IAMB arrangements. Sach reviewed
the results of the 2007 External Audit of DFI, stating that
the report highlighted a number of previously identified
weaknesses in Iraq's internal controls, namely "incomplete
record keeping at the Ministry of Finance, lack of a
comprehensive (oil) metering system, sale of oil and oil
products outside of the DFI, (and) incomplete contract
information associated with US Agencies' contracts." Sach
reported that there has been less than a 15 percent
implementation rate of audit recommendations. He called for
the expeditious implementation of oil metering, a key factor
necessary to ensure accountability and transparency over oil
resources. Sach noted that although there has been some
reduction in barter transactions for oil sales, the Iraqi
State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) continued to barter
during 2007. In conclusion, Sach stated that in May 2008 the
IAMB had unanimously approved a recommendation to negotiate
with the current auditors (Ernest & Young) to conduct another
audit in 2008.

5. (SBU) UN Adviser Ibrahim Gambari delivered a briefing on
behalf of UNAMI in which he recognized the improved security
and political situation in Iraq but cautioned that the
situation is still "fragile." (Note: SRSG de Mistura and
DPA U/SYG Pascoe were unable to attend. End Note.) Gambari
emphasized UNAMI's effort to help Iraq resolve its internal


boundary dispute and the issue of Kirkuk. He discussed
UNAMI's support of the Iraqi High Electoral Commission (IHEC)
in preparation for the upcoming governorate council
elections. He welcomed the fact that some member states,
including Bahrain, Jordan, and the UAE, had indicated their
intention to appoint ambassadors to Iraq in the near future.
Gambari called for a re-doubling of efforts to address the
Iraqi refugee and IDP issue, and he stated that a great deal
more needs to be done to promote the protection of human
rights and the rule of law in Iraq. In conclusion, Gambari
urged Iraq to take steps to broaden the national
reconciliation process and he pledged continued UN support to
Iraq.

Views on MNF-I Mandate and Conduct
----------------------------------

6. (SBU) All delegations welcomed the security progress in
Iraq. Russian PR Churkin warned that the prospective SOFA
should not "enshrine" the indefinite presence of U.S. troops
in Iraq, and said Russia believes there is a need to keep the
presence of MNF-I within the Council's "scope of attention."
He argued that a timetable for withdrawal would facilitate
reconciliation, and said the presence of foreign troops
should not/not undermine Iraqi sovereignty "in any way." He
expressed concern about MNF-I detention of minors, and called
on MNF-I to uphold international humanitarian law. A number
of other member countries also expressed concern about the
detainee situation in Iraq, including Libyan PR Ettalhi who
raised the issue of minors detained by Coalition Forces.
Panama and France expressed concern about human rights and
due process of detainees. China, South Africa, and Libya
also explicitly called on MNF-I to adhere to international
humanitarian law.

Complaints About DFI
--------------------

7. (U) Keying off of UN Controller Sach's presentation, a
number of delegations expressed concern about the management
of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI). Russia alleged a
"chronic lack of transparency" and said the Council had
failed to take "decisive measures" against oil smuggling and
contracting irregularities, particularly contracts with U.S.
sub-contractors. South Africa called for more transparency
and additional independent auditors for the IAMB, noting that
$23 billion has not been accounted for and suggesting that
some of the reported irregularities could constitute
violations of UNSCR's. France, Indonesia, Vietnam, Burkina
Faso, and Panama all highlighted the importance of the IAMB's
oversight role, particularly in seeking increased
transparency in the funding process.

Need for Attention to IDPs, Refugees
------------------------------------

8. (SBU) A number of delegations expressed concern regarding
the IDP and refugee situation in Iraq. Italy, Panama, Libya,
Burkina Faso, Belgium, Indonesia, and France all mentioned
these matters as deserving more attention from the GOI, UNAMI
and the Security Council. Many delegations also expressed
support for UNAMI, and welcomed the UN's involvement in the
upcoming provincial elections.

9. (SBU) The text of the adopted by the Security Council
confirming the continuation of the MNF-I mandate and DFI/IAMB
arrangements through 2008 can be found at
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2008/sc935 8.doc.htm.
Khalilzad

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