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Cablegate: Demarche Request-Australian Participation in Iraq

VZCZCXRO3548
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHC #8966/01 2841620
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 101616Z OCT 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 2571
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 1466
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC 1812

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 108966

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EAGR PREL IZ AS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE REQUEST-AUSTRALIAN PARTICIPATION IN IRAQ
PRTS

REF: BAGHDAD 3050

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 3.


Purpose
-------

2. (U) Embassy Baghdad would like to selectively expand
international participation in the Iraq Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) program (reftel) and has identified
agriculture as an element of the PRT program appropriate for
partners, participation. Australia has a proven record in
addressing complex agricultural issues, especially in
irrigation management and farm and processing mechanization,
which have parallels in Iraq. We believe Australian
agricultural specialists could make a significant
contribution. Department would like to invite Australia to
participate in the Iraq PRT program.


Objectives
----------

3. (U) Department requests Embassy Canberra demarche the GOA,
in pursuit of the following objectives:

-- Request the GOA provide agricultural specialists in
irrigation management and farm and processing mechanization
to work in the Iraq PRT program.

-- Request these agricultural specialists, in coordination
with Embassy Baghdad,s Office of Provincial Affairs (OPA),
develop strategies to address Iraq agricultural issues in
irrigation management and farm and processing mechanization.


Deadline
--------

4. (U) Department requests Post report the results of this
demarche via cable by October 14--please slug NEA DAS Richard
Schmierer and NEA/I Aja Bonsu. NEA plans to follow up with
the Australian Embassy on October 16.


Background
----------

5. (U) Australia,s potential participation in the Iraq PRT
program was informally discussed with the Australian
delegation to the Friends of Iraq Conference, June 17-19 in
Abu Dhabi. On a separate occasion in Baghdad, Ambassador
Crocker also informally discussed GOA,s potential
participation in the Iraq PRT program with Australia,s
Ambassador to Iraq and Minister of Defense. Australian
officials in Abu Dhabi agreed to consider the proposal if the
U.S. would provide a more detailed request for participation.
Reftel provides background on Iraq,s needs and how
Australia,s agricultural experience and expertise could meet
this need. Post may also find the following information
useful:

-- Despite the size and potential of Iraq,s agriculture
industry, Iraq is not food-secure. Iraq suffers from years
of infrastructure neglect, lack of up-to-date technologies,
and policies that are not conducive to increasing
productivity and competing in world markets. Australian
participation in the Iraq PRT program could alleviate some of
these issues.

-- Australian officials have agreed to consider a proposal
requesting the GOA provide agriculture specialists for some
PRTs. However, they requested more details, including the
number of specialists needed, the types of expertise
required, and the locations where these specialists would be
deployed. Department believes that at least six agricultural
specialists in irrigation management and farm and processing
mechanization, deployed initially for one year, would be
optimum. Department anticipates the specialists in
irrigation management would be deployed in Iraq,s Najaf,
Ninawa, and Diwaniya provinces. Department anticipates the
specialists in farm and processing mechanization would be

STATE 00108966 002 OF 002


deployed in Iraq,s Baghdad, Erbil, and Najaf provinces.


Point of Contact
----------------

6. (U) Please contact Aja Bonsu (NEA,s Office of Iraq
Provincial Reconstruction, Transition, and Stabilization
Affairs; 202-647-5919; BonsuAC@state.gov or
BonsuAC@state.sgov.gov) with any questions or concerns about
this demarche.
RICE

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