Cablegate: Italy Agrees in Principle On Osce Monitoring

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

301506Z Nov 04




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) STATE 252711 B) ROME 4000

Guidance Request - see para 3.

1. (U) MFA OSCE Office Director Fabio Cristiani told poloff
that an OSCE election observer mission for Iraq as proposed
reftel was in line with Italy's view that the organization's
expertise should be exploited for "out of theater" missions.
He agreed that ODIHR could provide invaluable assistance to
the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) in the
run-up to the elections, and help draft "lessons learned" for
future elections.

2. (U) Cristiani also noted that given the security
conditions, such a mission would not follow standard ODIHR
procedures, i.e. a small long-term advisory team followed by
a larger short-term observer contingent throughout the
country, culminating in a statement on whether or not the
elections were "free and fair" and/or represented the will of
the voters. He suggested therefore that the effort not be
dubbed a "monitoring mission" but rather a "technical" or
"advisory" mission to the IECI. Such distinctions would be
necessary to dampen any expectation that OSCE would be able
to comment on the election results countrywide, and to
protect the integrity of future ODIHR efforts. Cristiani
said that the mandate must therefore be drafted carefully and
be clear in its limitations. Italy was ready to assist this

3. (SBU) Cristiani also said Italy would be interested in
seconding personnel to an OSCE Iraq election team, but still
faces internal bureaucratic hurdles described ref b, which
preclude the MFA from distributing funds directly to
observers. Cristiani asked if the USG would intervene on
Italy's behalf with ODIHR officials to encourage them to take
on the simple task of a one-time per diem distribution to its
observers. Post requests Department's instructions on a
response to Cristiani.



2004ROME04534 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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