Cablegate: Ambassador Meets with Iraqi Anti-Pkk Coordinator
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3760/01 2832032
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 102032Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7330
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003760
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS PTER TU IZ
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH IRAQI ANTI-PKK COORDINATOR
Classified By: Ambassador Khalilzad for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: The Ambassador met on October 8 with Iraqi
State Minister for National Security Shirwan Wa'ili, the
GOI's counterpart to Special Envoy Ralston in the trilateral
U.S./Iraq/Turkey anti-PKK efforts. Wa'ili is in the process
of gathering information and talking to the various actors,
after which he says he will be prepared for a trilateral
meeting; Wa'ili is ready to meet with Ralston on October 16.
The Ambassador gave Wa'ili a readout of a recent discussion
about the PKK with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
President Masoud Barzani. Wa'ili and the Ambassador agreed
to the importance of political leadership in reducing
violence in Iraq. Wa'ili denied that his ministry is under
Iranian influence and requested USG assistance for his
ministry. END SUMMARY.
Wa'ili on His New Responsibility
2. (C) The Ambassador asked Wa'ili for his assessment of the
security situation and of his new responsibility as the GOI's
representative to trilateral U.S./Iraq/Turkey anti-PKK
efforts. Wa'ili told the Ambassador he is in the process of
gathering information on the PKK. This is his second meeting
with U.S. Embassy officials, but he is awaiting his first
meeting with the Turkish Embassy. Wa'ili anticipates meeting
with the GOI KRG representative to the trilateral process,
Karim Sinjari, later in the week. Wa'ili is aware of the
October 16 Ralston visit and is available to meet with him.
Wa'ili said he would travel to the KRG for consultations as
well. After he speaks separately to all parties and tries to
narrow differences, he will be prepared for a trilateral
4. (C) Wa'ili pointed out the GOI issued a statement
"diplomatically" calling the PKK a terrorist organization and
saying the PKK should not be present in Iraq. Wa'ili said
the GOI is committed to closing PKK offices, noting that
"there are even offices in Baghdad."
Getting Sequencing Right
5. (C) The Ambassador told Wa'ili he had just been in the
KRG and discussed the PKK issue with KRG President Barzani,
who told him there is now a window of opportunity to resolve
the problem. Barzani told the Ambassador he met with PKK
leader Cemil Bayik and pressed Bayik to declare a ceasefire,
which the PKK did.
6. (C) According to Barzani, the PKK is ready to lay down
arms permanently if there is "flexibility" on the Turkish
side. The PKK seeks a "federal" structure in southeast
Turkey, cultural and political rights, and peaceful political
settlement of its dispute with the Turkish government. The
Ambassador noted that Turkish CHOD Buyukanit had stated
previously there is no purely military solution to the
problem; Buyukanit had served in Turkey's southeast region
and understood the issues.
7. (C) The challenge, the Ambassador told Wa'ili, is getting
the sides to agree on the sequence of steps, to which Wa'ili
agreed. The Ambassador noted that all sides have internal
political constraints on what they can do, and when they can
do it. The U.S. is ready to do whatever it can to help the
8. (C) On security, Wa'ili noted the difference between the
work done and the results on the ground. According to
Wa'ili, GOI security agencies have done a good job. Wa'ili
blames the lack of results not on operational or intelligence
failures by security agencies, but on poor political
leadership. He believes some political figures are behind
sectarian violence, which makes the violence difficult to
contain and requires a political solution.
9. (C) The Ambassador said the USG sees four sources of
violence in Iraq: terrorists like Al-Qaeda and its
affiliates; insurgents attacking Coalition Forces; sectarian
violence; and in the south, tensions between militias. He
agreed the key element is political, as this is the reason
why the USG is urging reconciliation and resolution of major
political issues that divide people. The October 2
four-point agreement on ending sectarian violence is
encouraging; continuing sectarian violence threatens to
undermine U.S. public support for Iraq.
10. (C) The Ambassador asked Wa'ili why some tribes had not
attended the October 7 Anbar tribes meeting in Baghdad.
Wa'ili attributed their absence to their objections to the
Iraqi Islamic Party's (IIP) participation. The Ambassador
suggested that Wa'ili reach out to tribes that did not attend.
Request for U.S. Help to the Ministry
11. (C) Wa'ili told the Ambassador that as a state ministry,
his Ministry for National Security has many responsibilities
but no fixed budget. Wa'ili said he thought there is an
impression in the USG that the ministry was under Iranian
influence; the Ambassador replied he had heard others say
this. Wa'ili denied this, saying his was "an Iraqi ministry"
which selects independent officials. He asked why there is
no USG support for his ministry and requested a USG point of
contact to liaise with the his ministry. He also asked for
support to relocate the ministry to a larger building. The
Ambassador told Wa'ili he would look into Wa'ili's requests.