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Cablegate: Maysan: Ambassador Urges Sadrist Provincial Government To

VZCZCXRO5361
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4037/01 3621245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271245Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1021
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004037

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL 12/26/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON IZ
SUBJECT: MAYSAN: AMBASSADOR URGES SADRIST PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO
IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH GOI

This message is Sensitive but Unclassified; handle accordingly. Not
for distribution on the Internet.

1. (U) This is a Maysan PRT report.

2. (SBU) During a December 18 meeting in the provincial capital
Amarah, the Ambassador encouraged the Sadrist Provincial Council
Chair and the ISCI Deputy Governor to work to improve the provincial
government's strained relationship with the GOI and to take
advantage of USG assistance programs that will develop as a result
of the Security Agreement and Strategic Framework agreements. The
PC Chair and Deputy Governor raised common Maysani concerns about
the perceived lack of GOI efforts to address problems with the oil,
education and electricity sectors and to combat the extensive
unemployment that continues to plague Maysan. The Ambassador
encouraged provincial officials to work with other provincial
governments to share best practices on how to stimulate economic
recovery. The Ambassador thanked the PC Chair and Deputy Governor
for the provincial government's efforts to strengthen the
relationship with the PRT and Coalition Forces (CF, and to
coordinate reconstruction assistance. End Summary.

3. (SBU) During a two-day trip to Maysan province on December
17-18, the Ambassador met with Sadrist PC Chair Chairman Abdul
Jabbar Wahid Homaydi and Deputy Governor Abdul Hussein Abdul Radha
(ISCI) at the Government Center in the provincial capital, Amarah.
The Ambassador thanked the PC Chair and Deputy Governor for their
efforts to strengthen relations between the Sadrist-controlled
provincial government and the PRT and CF. The PC Chair responded,
"We feel the effects of this relationship and thank you for it,"
adding that the team leader has other good ideas and has encouraged
the provincial government to implement projects using their own
resources. The Ambassador also urged the provincial government to
continue mending its strained relationship with the GOI.

4. (SBU) The Ambassador heard common provincial frustrations about
GOI inattentiveness to provincial struggles to repair its defunct
oil infrastructure, reduce unemployment, rebuild the education
system, and address shortages of electricity and clean drinking
water, for which the PC Chair and Deputy Governor appealed for
additional USG assistance and intervention with the GOI. The
Ambassador agreed Maysan possesses vast oil and gas potential, and
encouraged provincial officials to lobby the GOI to pass legislation
to create the necessary legal structure to develop resources for the
good of the country.

5. (SBU) The Ambassador also encouraged provincial officials to
take advantage of programs that will develop as a result of the
recent Security Agreement (SA) and Strategic Framework Agreement
(SFA). The SFA, for example, calls for bilateral cooperation in a
variety of fields, and the recently signed GE turbine contract will
double Iraq's generation capacity to 14,000 MW. He added that
provincial leaders should work with the Ministry of Electricity to
ensure Maysan receives its share. The Ambassador also described
other areas of future U.S./I, and emphasized that the provincial
government should look to expand the PRT's current collaboration
with Maysan University.

6. (SBU) The PC Chair boasted about the provincial government's
efficiency in executing its budget, and told the Ambassador that
other provinces were learning from Maysan's example. The Ambassador
encouraged provincial officials to work with other provincial
governments to share best practices on how to stimulate economic
recovery.
Qrecovery.

7 (SBU) Deputy Governor Radha asked the Ambassador to intervene on
Maysan's behalf concerning water resources, noting that Turkey was
diverting large quantities of water. He also raised unemployment,
emphasizing the need for vocational training to put Maysanis back to
work. He stressed that outside investment was necessary to
rehabilitate the factory system in Maysan and to help absorb the
unemployed. He added that secondary schools and the
government-sponsored university systems were not up to standard, and
requested assistance to build a new university and develop
scholarship programs for study-abroad programs. The Ambassador
responded that the PRT was looking at ways to address these problems
through vocational training assistance and microfinance programs to
stimulate small business development.

8. (SBU) PC Chair Hoymadi concluded the meeting by emphasizing to
the Ambassador that tribal support councils were unhealthful for
Maysan because the tribes no longer wielded the influence they once
did. He pointed out that although many tribal members were
candidates in the last elections, few were elected. He also
cautioned that the tribal system should not become an alternative to
the provincial government. The Ambassador raised tribal leaders'
concerns that the provincial government had refused to provide
assistance to the tribes, to which the PC Chair responded that
tribal leaders had insisted on receiving funding directly to
implement their own projects, rather than through the provincial

BAGHDAD 00004037 002 OF 002


governments' overseeing project development. Following the meeting,
the Ambassador and his delegation shared lunch with the PC Chair and
Deputy Governor.


CROCKER

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