Cablegate: Iraqi Human Rights Minister Promises Increased

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



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. SUMMARY. The recently appointed Iraqi Minister of Human
Rights, Bakhtyar Amin, attended the 46th meeting of the
Tripartite Technical Sub-committee held in Kuwait on 7
September under International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) auspices. This marks the first time that a member of
the IIG has participated in a Tripartite meeting and signals
a new direction for the joint Iraqi-Kuwaiti focus on
resolving the POW issue, as well as finding and returning all
remains as quickly as possible. Additionally, the Kuwaiti
government announced the recovery of 328 sets of remains and
the further identification of 175 of those sets. The Iraqi
delegation reported the identification of approximately 262
mass grave sites so far. END SUMMARY.

2. The Tripartite's Technical Subcommittee meeting was
attended by the new Iraqi Minister of Human Rights, Bakhtyar
Amin, and an Iraqi delegation of three; a Kuwaiti delegation
of six; a Saudi delegation of five; delegates from the
British, French, and U.S. Embassies; as well as the ICRC
delegation. Over a period of three hours, Amin expounded on
the IIG's intention to fully cooperate with and support the
Kuwaiti effort to recover all of the remains in Iraq. He
requested repeatedly that the names of all of the Iraqis who
had taken refuge in Saudi Arabia during the Shi'a uprising of
1991-92 be passed to his office so that notification could be
given to their respective families. The head of the Saudi
delegation replied that the names would be passed to the
UNHCR but demurred at giving them directly to the Iraqis.
Amin then pursued the matter with the ICRC, asking for names
and current locations of the refugees. The ICRC regional
delegate, Michel Meyer, explained that due to privacy laws,
they could not give the Iraqis anything more that a name of a
person. Amin hoped to give the families of the 60,000
persons who were known to have crossed into Saudi a
definitive answer as to their current status. It is an issue
that he will, no doubt, take up again in future meetings.

3. The Kuwaiti delegation gave a succinct summary of the
recovery of remains since the March 2004 meeting and spoke of
the current recovery problems in Iraq due to the security
situation. The Kuwaitis had recovered 328 sets of remains
and had identified 175 through DNA testing. After Kuwaiti
detailing of the sites that were investigated, the Iraqi
delegation asked for, and was promised, to be included in all
future recovery efforts. The Saudis mentioned that they had
information on two Saudi nationals who might be buried in
Iraq. The ICRC requested all of the information be submitted
in writing and also asked that such information be considered
close-held out of respect for the families involved.

4. COMMENT. The participation of the Iraqi Minister of
Human Rights marks a hopeful new beginning in the cooperation
between the three countries and their search for closure in
finding, recovering, returning, and burying their dead. With
the ICRC as the mediator, it is possible that there will be
an unparalleled level of focus and attention that may allow
the Tripartite to increase its operations and succeed at
recovering most of their fallen. Although there was mention
of security concerns which cut short the latest Kuwaiti
efforts, the Iraqis assured the Kuwaitis that all future
recovery missions would be supported with Iraqi security on

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