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Cablegate: Iraq: Dasd Brzezinski's Meeti..

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 000523

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE, NEA, OSD FOR DASD BRZEZINSKI, NSC FOR
ABRAHMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2013
TAGS: PREL IZ VT IZ VT NATOPREL NATO
SUBJECT: IRAQ: DASD BRZEZINSKI'S MEETI...


SUBJECT: IRAQ: DASD BRZEZINSKI'S MEETING WITH HOLY SEE FM
TAURAN: VATICAN STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF ADDITIONAL UN
RESOLUTION

REF: VATICAN 5756

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR JIM NICHOLSON: REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

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PAGE 02 VATICA 00523 01 OF 02 100629Z
-------



SUMMARY
-------


1. (C) HOLY SEE FOREIGN MINSTER ARCHBISHOP JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN TOLD VISITING DASD IAN BRZEZINSKI FEBRUARY 7 THAT THE GAP BETWEEN THE U.S. AND HOLY SEE'S POSITION WAS ""NOT THAT BIG,"" ADDING THAT THE HOLY SEE AGREES THAT THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE FOR SADDAM AND THAT HE NEEDS TO COOPERATE. FOR THE HOLY SEE, THE POINT OF DIVERGENCE WITH THE U.S. WAS ""WHETHER WAR WAS
THE ANSWER"" TO THE SITUATION, AND, IF IT WAS, WHO WOULD MAKE THE DECISION FOR WAR. TAURAN EMPHASIZED THAT THE HOLY SEE BELIEVES ONLY THE UN CAN MAKE THAT DECISION, AND HE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED THE U.S. TO SEEK A SECOND UN RESOLUTION. DASD BRZEZINSKI URGED TAURAN TO ENSURE IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ RECEIVED A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM THE POPE FEBRUARY 14
THAT IRAQ HAD LITTLE TIME TO DEMONSTRATE ITS WILLINGNESS TO DISARM. TAURAN SAID THE HOLY SEE HAS ALREADY CONVEYED THAT MESSAGE TO THE IRAQI AMBASSADOR AND WOULD REPEAT IT TO AZIZ. TAURAN STRESSED TO BRZEZINSKI THE IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING THAT WAR, IF IT CAME, WOULD NOT BE PORTRAYED AS AN AMERICAN WAR, BUT AS AN INTERNATIONAL OPERATION TO RESPOND TO THE ""MISBEHAVIOR"" OF A UN MEMBER GOVERNMENT. IN THIS REGARD, HE SUGGESTED THAT ANY MILITARY ACTION BE CAST AS A ""POLICE ACTION"" AS A WAY TO REINFORCE THE NEED FOR THE ACTION AND
MAKE IT MORE PALATABLE INTERNATIONALLY. BRZEZINSKI ASSURED TAURAN THAT THE U.S. WOULD ACT IN AN BROAD COALITION. END SUMMARY.


---------------------------------
U.S.-HOLY SEE VIEWS NOT FAR APART
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PAGE 03 VATICA 00523 01 OF 02 100629Z
---------------------------------


2. (C) IN A FEBRUARY 7 MEETING, DASD IAN BRZEZINSKI (IN ROME WITH SECRETARY RUMSFELD'S DELEGATION) ACCOMPANIED BY AMBASSADOR NICHOLSON EMPHASIZED TO HOLY SEE' FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN THAT THE UNITED STATES REGARDS WAR AS THE ""LAST RESORT"" TO DISARM IRAQ, BUT STRESSED THE URGENCY OF ACTION IN THE FACE OF THE DANGEROUS NEXUS BETWEEN TERRORISM
AND IRAQ'S WMD CAPABILITIES. HE NOTED THAT SECRETARY
POWELL'S UN PRESENTATION MADE CLEAR THAT SADDAM CONTINUED TO DEVELOP HIS WMD CAPABILITIES, DESPITE HIS COMMITMENT TO DISARM, WHICH LEFT ""NO ROOM FOR ERROR."" HE EMPHASIZED THAT UNSC 1441 WAS A FINAL RESOLUTION THAT LEFT SADDAM NO ROOM TO
ONCE AGAIN FLOUT THE WILL OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.



3. (C) IN THE FACE OF A STEADY DRUMBEAT OF MEDIA REPORTS SUGGESTING UNYIELDING VATICAN OPPOSITION TO WAR, TAURAN WENT OUR OF HIS WAY TO EMPHASIZE THE COMMON GROUND IN THE U.S. AND HOLY SEE'S PERCEPTIONS OF THE IRAQ CRISIS. ""THE GAP IS NOT SO BIG,"" HE ASSERTED, NOTING THAT THAT HOLY SEE AGREES THAT
THIS IS SADDAM'S ""LAST CHANCE"" AND THAT HE NEEDS TO COOPERATE IMMEDIATELY. HE ALSO POINTED OUT THAT BOTH THE UN AND HOLY SEE HAVE EMPHASIZED THE CENTRAL ROLE OF THE UN IN RESOLVING THE CONFLICT -- WHICH THE HOLY SEE REGARDS AS ESSENTIAL. ""THE POINT OF DIVERGENCE,"" HE CONTINUED, ""IS WAR."" BUT IN OUTLINING THE VATICAN POSITION, HE DID NOT ASSERT -- AS OTHER SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE CURIA HAVE RECENTLY -- THAT THE HOLY
SEE IS COMPLETELY OPPOSED TO WAR AT ANY POINT. RATHER, HE SAID THE CRUCIAL ISSUE WAS WHO WILL SAY, ""THE GAME IS OVER,"" AND WHEN THAT DECISION SHOULD BE MADE. IN ADDITION, HE NOTED THAT THE HOLY SEE REMAINED DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE
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PAGE 04 VATICA 00523 01 OF 02 100629Z
POSITION OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE, AND STILL NEEDED TO BE
CONVINCED THAT WAR IS THE ONLY SOLUTION. HE ALSO REITERATED THE HOLY SEE'S FEAR FOR THE REACTION OF THE ARAB WORLD, CITING ARAB LEAGUE HEAD AMR MOUSSA'S LINE THAT ""THE DOORS OF HELL WILL OPEN.""



--------------------------
""NOT ONLY AN AMERICAN WAR""
--------------------------


4. (C) IN HIS EFFORT TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING THROUGH THE UNITED NATIONS, TAURAN EMPHASIZED THAT IT WAS ESSENTIAL FOR THE U.S. TO MAKE CLEAR THAT ANY WAR WOULD NOT BE ""AN AMERICAN WAR,"" BUT AN INTERNATIONAL ACTION. HE REGRETTED THAT THE POPULAR PERCEPTION IN EUROPE AND MUCH OF
THE WORLD REMAINED THAT THIS WAS AN AMERICAN CONCERN NOT SHARED BROADLY. ""IF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DEEMS THAT THE TIME IS RIGHT,"" HE OBSERVED, ""THEN THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE SHOULD TAKE ACTION."" TO MAKE THIS CASE, HOWEVER, HE BELIEVED AN ADDITIONAL UN RESOLUTION WOULD BE INDISPENSABLE.
DASD BRZEZINSKI COUNTERED THAT THE U.S. BELIEVED UNSC 1441 PROVIDED ADEQUATE AUTHORITY TO UNDERTAKE MILITARY ACTION.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9173

PAGE 01 VATICA 00523 02 OF 02 100630Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 PERC-00 DS-00
VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 NEA-00
DCP-01 NSAE-00 PM-00 SSO-00 SS-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-00 DRL-01 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /003W
------------------3388DC 100630Z /38
O 100546Z FEB 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 000523

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE, NEA, OSD FOR DASD BRZEZINSKI, NSC FOR
ABRAHMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2013
TAGS: PREL IZ VT IZ VT NATOPREL NATO
SUBJECT: IRAQ: DASD BRZEZINSKI'S MEETING WITH HOLY SEE FM TAURAN: VATICAN STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF ADDITIONAL UN RESOLUTION

WITHOUT DISPUTING THAT, TAURAN INSISTED THAT AN ADDITIONAL RESOLUTION ""WOULD BE BETTER."" BRZEZINSKI ALSO ASSURED TAURAN THAT ANY ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF A BROAD INTERNATIONAL COALITION. HE NOTED THAT ONLY THE DAY
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PAGE 02 VATICA 00523 02 OF 02 100630Z
BEFORE TEN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAD AFFIRMED THEIR SUPPORT FOR ACTION, JOINING THE EIGHT EUROPEANS WHO HAD SIGNED THE EARLIER LETTER OF SUPPORT.



5. (C) REFLECTING THE HOLY SEE'S SENSITIVITY ABOUT THE TERM 'WAR,' TAURAN WONDERED ALOUD WHETHER IT WOULD NOT BE BETTER TO CHARACTERIZE ANY MILITARY ACTION AS AN INTERNATIONAL ""POLICE ACTION."" HE STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING THE POINT THAT ANY ACTION WOULD NOT BE DIRECTED AGAINST THE IRAQI PEOPLE, BUT AGAINST A GOVERNMENT THAT IS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT HAD ""MISBEHAVED."" THIS WOULD
REINFORCE THE COMMUNAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY ACTION, HE BELIEVED.



--------------------------------------------
CLEARING UP MISUNDERSTANDINGS ON INSPECTIONS
--------------------------------------------


6. (C) TAURAN SOUGHT TO CLARIFY WITH BRZEZINSKI THE HOLY
SEE'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE INSPECTION PROCESS. TAURAN SAID THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THAT HANS BLIX HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER IRAQ WAS COOPERATING, BUT HE WAS UNCLEAR WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE THE PROOF -- BLIX OR IRAQ. BRZEZINSKI MADE CLEAR THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY RESIDES WITH
IRAQ, WHICH MUST FULLY COOPERATE, BUT HAS INSTEAD CONTINUED TO DECEIVE. THE AMBASSADOR POINTED OUT THAT INSPECTORS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING UNDER EVERY ROCK, BUT ARE SIMPLY SUPPOSED TO VERIFY THE INFORMATION FREELY PROVIDED BY IRAQ.
TAURAN THEN ASKED IF INCREASING THE NUMBER OF INSPECTORS WOULD STRENGTHEN THE SUCCESS OF INSPECTIONS. BRZEZINSKI MADE CLEAR THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF WILLING COOPERATION, NO NUMBER
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PAGE 03 VATICA 00523 02 OF 02 100630Z
OF INSPECTORS WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL.



----------------------------------
DELIVERING A MESSAGE TO TARIQ AZIZ
----------------------------------


7. (C) FOLLOWING UP THE FEBRUARY 5 ANNOUNCEMENT THAT IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ WOULD MEET THE POPE FEBRUARY 14, THE AMBASSADOR URGED TAURAN TO DELIVER A FIRM MESSAGE TO AZIZ THAT THE TIME FOR SADDAM TO GO HAD ARRIVED. HE NOTED THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SADDAM'S DEPARTURE, HE SAW LITTLE CHANCE TO AVOID WAR. TAURAN RESPONDED THAT HE HAD ALREADY CONVEYED TO
THE IRAQI AMBASSADOR TO THE HOLY SEE THE MESSAGE THAT ""THIS IS NOT A GAME,"" AND THAT IRAQ NEEDED TO COMPLY WITH THE UN RESOLUTIONS IMMEDIATELY. HE PLEDGED TO DELIVER THE SAME MESSAGE TO AZIZ NEXT WEEK.


-------
COMMENT
-------


8. (C) IN THE FACE OF EXTENSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE GIVEN TO PAPAL AND OTHER CURIAL STATEMENTS IN OPPOSITION TO WAR, TAURAN WENT OUT OF HIS WAY TO CONVEY THAT THE HOLY SEE DID NOT REGARD ITSELF AS OPPOSING THE U.S., BUT RATHER SHARED U.S. CONCERNS ON IRAQ. WHILE HE REITERATED THE HOLY SEE'S STRONG DESIRE TO
AVOID WAR, HIS STATEMENTS REFLECTED AN EVEN GREATER
UNDERSTANDING THAN WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY SEEN THAT WAR MAY BE UNAVOIDABLE. IN FACT, HIS POSITION STANDS IN STARK CONTRAST TO A HOLY SEE-SANCTIONED ARTICLE -- APPROVED BY TAURAN -- OPPOSING WAR IN IRAQ AND THE CONCEPT OF PREVENTIVE WAR, WHICH
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PAGE 04 VATICA 00523 02 OF 02 100630Z
WAS PUBLISHED IN CIVILTA CATTOLICA TWO MONTHS AGO (REFTEL), AND WHICH VATICAN OFFICIALS HAVE REPEATEDLY TOLD US REFLECTS OFFICIAL VIEWS. BOTH PRIVATELY AND PUBLICLY, HOWEVER, TAURAN HAS BEEN CONSISTENT FOR MANY MONTHS THAT WAR CONDUCTED WITHIN
THE UN FRAMEWORK COULD BE CONSIDERED LEGITIMATE. WE BELIEVE HIS PREVIOUS AND MOST RECENT STATEMENTS PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK WITHIN WHICH WE CAN CONTINUE TO BUILD BROADER ACCEPTANCE FROM THE HOLY SEE FOR ANY EVENTUAL MILITARY ACTION.



9. (C) DASD BRZEZINSKI DID NOT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CLEAR
THIS MESSAGE.

NICHOLSON

CONFIDENTIAL

>

2003VATICA00523 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

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