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Cablegate: Turkish Mfa On Brussels Conference

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

081240Z Jun 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 003192

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

TREASURY FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - MMILLS, CPLANTIER, AND
SDONOVAN
NSC FOR BRYZA AND MCKIBBEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN EAID TU IZ
SUBJECT: TURKISH MFA ON BRUSSELS CONFERENCE

REF: SECSTATE 103222

1. (SBU) Summary: Foreign Minister Gul will head Turkey's
delegation to the Brussels conference. The GOT does not
yet have a position on bilateral debt, but is resisting
outright forgiveness. MFA officials say progress on
assistance continues to be on hold until security improves.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) A/DCM and Econoff delivered reftel talking points
to MFA Middle East Director General Oguz Celikkol June 3.
Celikkol said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul will lead the Turkish delegation to the Brussels
Conference. In a separate meeting June 6, Turkey,s
Coordinator
for Assistance to Iraq Ambassador Koray Targay told ECON/C
that
he will accompany Gul, along with Celikkol, Special Envoy for
Iraq Osman Koroturk, and DDG for the Middle East Safak
Gokturk.
Celikkol and his staff claimed they were not well-informed on
the details of the conference and asked for more information,
such as plans for a concluding resolution.

Debt
----

3. (SBU) On Iraq's $ 1.6 billion debt to Turkey, Celikkol
said
that, as far as he was aware, the Iraqi authorities have yet
to
approach Turkey requesting a debt restructuring. Targay said
that the issue was on the agenda for Prime Minister
Erdogan,s
meeting with Iraqi Prime Mininster Jafari during his recent
visit to Turkey, but he did not know if the two Prime
Ministers
discussed the issue. He thought the Iraqis had raised the
subject
with Finance Minister Unakitan, who could only refer them to
the
Turkish Treasury (a separate institution not under the
finance
minister), which is responsible for debt. Celikkol and
Targay
repeated other Turkish officials' comments that Turkey could
not
forgive the debt, although they thought rescheduling might be
possible. Per reftel, we said Turkey should consider
repayment
terms equivalent to 80% forgiveness. The officials admitted
that
the GOT did not have an official position. (Comment: We will
also
pursue this issue with the Treasury.)

Assistance
----------

4. (SBU) Celikkol said Jafari had asked about Turkish plans
for
assistance. Celikkol said the GOT was not yet ready to
disburse,
although the Minister might provide some specifics in
Brussels.
Targay said Turkey's list of projects (the biggest being
hospitals
in Basra and Baghdad) remains unchanged, but that the
security
situation has kept them "on hold." He also confirmed that
GOT water
engineers would be traveling to northern Iraq to provide
advice on
municipal water distribution. When ECON/C asked about the
prospect
of beginning spending soon, Targay said that MFA officials
had
expected the security situation to improve after the election
but
lately have been concerned that the situation has been
worsening.
He stressed that hospitals need to operate in a stable
environment.
Targay also said that a small share of the $50 million
Turkish pledge
had already been disbursed, including on training projects
for Iraqi
police, diplomats, and healthcare workers. We have asked
Targay,s
office for a more precise accounting, which we will report
when it
is provided.

Baghdad Minimize Considered.
MOORE

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