Cablegate: Proposed Press Guidance On Turkish Troop Deployment

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

221224Z Oct 03




E.O. 12958: N/A

In view of growing speculation in the Turkish media that
U.S. support for the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq is
wavering, post requests Department clearance of the
following suggested press guidance.


Q: What are your views on the Turkish government's decision
to authorize the deployment of forces in Iraq?

-- The United States welcomes the vote of the Turkish
Parliament authorizing the Government to contribute Turkish
troops, under appropriate circumstances, for the
stabilization force in Iraq.

-- The United States believes that Turkey can play a helpful
role in achieving stability in Iraq by encouraging
restoration of trade and participating in the reconstruction
of Iraq.

-- It is not a secret that the opposition in the IGC has
been broader and deeper than expected. Since it took some
four months for the government of Turkey to secure a
parliamentary vote on this subject, it should not come as a
surprise that it will take some time to work this issue in
Iraq, where democratic politics are in their early stages.

-- UNSC 1511 directs the International Community to treat
the IGC as the embodiment of sovereignty until there is an
elected government in place, and urges the coalition to turn
over as much responsibility as possible to the IGC as
quickly as it can be accomplished.

-- The Coalition retains the decisive voice on security
issues, but needs to exercise that responsibility in a way
that does not undermine the larger objections laid out in
the UNSCR.

-- The recent bombing of the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad
underscores the importance of close collaboration on
security issues between the U.S. and Turkey in Iraq. That
cooperation prevented loss of life in that incident.

-- We want to work out any future deployment in a way that
would minimize any risk of Turkish casualties.

-- Finally, we all need to keep in mind our strategic
objective. We want to increase the stability and security
of Iraq, not detract from it, and we want to do it in a way
that lays a strong foundation for future Turkish-Iraqi
relations. We want two democratic neighbors, in a
neighborhood where democracy is in short supply, to have a
good, healthy, cooperative set of political and economic

Q: Has the U.S. Government changed its position on Turkish
troop deployment as a result of opposition from the Iraqi
Governing Council?

-- No, the U.S. has not changed its position. We firmly
believe that Turkey can make an important contribution to
stability in Iraq.

-- We remain hopeful that an agreement satisfactory to all
parties can be reached.

Q: What is the cause of the delay in the start of
negotiations between the U.S. and Turkey regarding a
deployment of Turkish troops?

-- There has been no delay. Diplomatic and military
contacts between the U.S. and Turkey to discuss Turkey's
contribution of troops are underway and are continuing.

-- The U.S. is committed to working with the Turkish
government and military, as well as with the Iraqi Governing
Council, to reach agreement on how a deployment of Turkish
troops can best contribute to stability in Iraq.

Q: When will Turkish troops go to Iraq? How many troops
will there be and in what region will they be deployed?

-- The U.S. is consulting closely with Turkey's government
and military regarding the details of a troop deployment.
It would be premature to speculate on issues such as timing,
numbers, and location of an eventual troop deployment.



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