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Cablegate: Iraqi Military Police Officers Graduate From

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

UNCLAS BRATISLAVA 001000

SIPDIS


STATE FOR EUR/NCE AND NEA/I
NSC PLEASE PASS DAMON WILSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR IZ LO
SUBJECT: IRAQI MILITARY POLICE OFFICERS GRADUATE FROM
SLOVAK TRAINING

1. Charge and DAO attended the December 19 graduation
ceremony of 14 Iraqi military police officers from the Slovak
Military Medical Training Center at Lest. In his remarks to
the group, Slovak MinDef Liska praised and congratulated the
Iraqi soldiers, stressing the need for the international
community to continue supporting the Iraqi people on their
road to a secure, democratic future. Liska said Slovakia
would maintain its training of Iraqi soldiers and its
commitment to the security and development of democracy in
Iraq more generally. Liska also made the point that the more
Iraqis the coalition can train, the greater the prospects for
return for Slovak forces deployed there. MinDef officials
told us they would be happy to host additional groups in the
future, and would continue to train Iraqis in Iraq.

2. The Iraqis -- of all ranks and representing all
geographical parts of Iraq -- were beaming. In conversations
with the Charge and DAO, they went on at length about their
determination to help secure their country. The group's
leader, Capt. Hussein Hussein, stressed to Charge that while
the security threats remained serious, they would ultimately
be seen as a temporary period in Iraqi history on the way to
a much brighter future. Most Iraqis had never known life
except under dictatorship; they would increasingly turn
against the insurgents. Capt. Hussein smiled as he said that
he envisioned his country as an example to the rest of the
Arab world that it can democratize.

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3. All of the soldiers were extremely thankful for U.S.
assistance and greatly appreciated our presence at their
graduation. They feel they have learned a great deal that
will help them in their security responsibilities and that
they will pass along to the different units they will join
when they return to Iraq (NOTE: They depart Slovakia for
Iraq Dec. 21. END NOTE). They were also quick to make the
case to us that they felt they were doing their jobs as
"Iraqis," not Kurds or Arabs, Sunni or Shia (the only two
female graduates in the group were both Kurds).

4. The Iraqis look forward to further cooperation with the
Slovaks, and the Slovak trainers considered the Iraqis to be
good, hardworking students. Iraqi Ambassador to Austria and
Slovakia (resident in Vienna), Tariq Aqrawi, voiced similar
sentiments. He also used his remarks to his Slovak hosts to
express the hope that Iraq would soon set up an Embassy in
Bratislava, something he has recommended to his Ministry in
Baghdad.
SILVERMAN


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