Cablegate: Ministry of Planning Back at the Center Of
UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002562
STATE PASS USAID
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID IZ
SUBJECT: MINISTRY OF PLANNING BACK AT THE CENTER OF
This cable is sensitive but unclassified. For government
use only. Not for internet distribution.
1. (SBU) Prime Minister Jaafari has returned primacy in
contact with aid donors to the Ministry of Planning and
Development Cooperation (MoPDC).
2. (SBU) Planning Minister Barham Saleh told us on June
15 that at a meeting earlier that day Prime Minister
Jaafari said he would reverse his decision to make
Finance Minister Allawi the ITG's primary point of
contact with aid donors and return the role to MoPDC.
Saleh told us privately that the PM's decision was fully
supported by FinMin Allawi and that he has a good
relationship and will work well with Allawi. Saleh
repeated this message on June 16 to representatives of
aid donors and other Iraqi ministries--including Finance-
-during a meeting of the Iraq Strategic Review Board. In
both venues the Minister highlighted the importance of
close collaboration between MoPDC and Finance on economic
and development issues.
3. (SBU) In a separate meeting with Charge and Emboffs
on June 16, confirmed Saleh's report. Allawi took credit
for the proposal to leave MoPDC in charge, saying that he
had told the PM he had two options, to significantly
revamp the donor coordination/reconstruction function--
not feasible in the short tenure of the ITG--or to leave
things "as they are" with MoPDC in the lead. He said he
and Saleh get along well and will work well together.
4. (SBU) Comment. This is a positive development.
Donors now have the single primary point of contact in
the ITG that they have sought for months, and in Saleh
they have an interlocutor who combines political savvy, a
market-friendly attitude, and substantive understanding
of the issues. Moreover, the MoPDC has the bureaucratic
infrastructure for supporting ITG dialogue with donors
that was lacking at Finance. At the same time, the two
ministries are signaling every intention to work much
more closely together on the key financing aspects of
donor coordination, especially integrating assistance
effectively with Iraqi budget resources. End comment.