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Cablegate: Tfiz01: Chaldean Prelate Wants to Celebrate Palm

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

UNCLAS ROME 001526

SIPDIS


C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDING SUBJECT TAGS)
SENSITIVE

NEA/NGA TO NATE JENSEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL IZ IT
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: CHALDEAN PRELATE WANTS TO CELEBRATE PALM
SUNDAY MASS IN BASRA

REF: A. PHONE CONVERSATION: MANSOUR - NEA/NGA NATE

JENSEN APR 9
B. EMAIL: BASS - EUR/WE MARA TEKACH-BALL APR 9

1. (SBU) MSGR. PHILIP NAJIM, THE SENIOR REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
CHALDEAN CHURCH IN ITALY AND THE PROCURATOR OF THE CHALDEAN
PATRIARCHATE OF BABYLON TO THE HOLY SEE, ASKED TO MEET WITH
RELIGIOUS MINORITIES OFFICER AND NEA WATCHER APRIL 9. MSGR.
NAJIM THANKED THE USG FOR "OVERTHROWING SADDAM," AND
EXPRESSED GENERAL CONCERNS ABOUT THE STATE OF THE CHALDEAN
CHURCH IN IRAQ AND SPECIFIC CONCERNS ABOUT POTENTIAL
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ ESPECIALLY FROM THE
SHIITES (UNDER-REPRESENTED IN A SADDAM GOVERNMENT THAT
PROTECTED THE CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ) IN A POST-SADDAM IRAQ.

2. (SBU) MSGR. NAJIM WAS PARTICULARLY GRATEFUL TO THE BRITISH
FORCES THAT WERE PROTECTING THE CHALDEAN CHURCH IN BASRA. HE
(A BRITISH CITIZEN TRAVELING ON A BRITISH PASSPORT) SAID HE
HOPED TO TRAVEL TO BASRA (THROUGH KUWAIT AND UMM KASR) APRIL
11 TO BRING ASSISTANCE AND MONEY TO THE BISHOP OF THE
CHALDEANS IN BASRA. HE WAS PLANNING ON CELEBRATING PALM
SUNDAY MASS APRIL 13 IN THE CHALDEAN CHURCH IN BASRA.
ITALIAN RAI TELEVISION WAS GOING TO FILM THE MASS SERVICE AND
AIR IT IN ITALY ON GOOD FRIDAY ALONG WITH THE HOLY FATHER'S
CELEBRATION.

3. (SBU) MSGR. NAJIM SAID HE WAS HOPING TO GO TO BAGHDAD
APRIL 12 TO MEET THE TWO SENIOR CHALDEAN BISHOPS (CURRENTLY
LEADING THE CHALDEAN CHURCH IN IRAQ SINCE THE PATRIARCH'S
HEALTH WAS FAILING) NOW STAYING IN THE NUNCIATURE IN BAGHDAD.
HE ASKED IF THE US MILITARY COULD PROVIDE A SAFE CONDUCT FOR
HIM FROM BASRA TO BAGHDAD AND BACK APRIL 12. EMBASSY
OFFICERS PROMISED TO CHECK WITH THE DEPARTMENT BUT ADVISED
MSGR. NAJIM THE US MILITARY WAS UNLIKELY TO BE ABLE TO
PROVIDE A SAFE CONDUCT FOR HIM GIVEN THE UNSTABLE SITUATION
IN THE REGION.

4. (U) THE UK EMBASSY IN ROME IS AWARE OF AND WORKING ON THIS
POTENTIAL VISIT TO BASRA.

5. (U) THIS CABLE WAS CLEARED BY EMBASSY VATICAN.

6. (U) MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.
SEMBLER

NNNN
2003ROME01526 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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