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Cablegate: Karbala: Shrines Announce Tribal Sheikhs Conference

VZCZCXRO9001
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHIHL #0111 2021412
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211412Z JUL 07
FM REO HILLAH
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHIHL/REO HILLAH 0982

UNCLAS HILLAH 000111

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV
SUBJECT: KARBALA: SHRINES ANNOUNCE TRIBAL SHEIKHS CONFERENCE

REF: 00000109

1. (U) This is a PRT Karbala cable.

2. (U) Sayed Ahmed al-Safi, Head of the Al Abbas shrine office,
conducted the Friday sermon at Karbala's al-Husain shrine. The
message of this sermon focused on government support of budget
execution, security and inviting leaders around Iraq to attend a
reconciliation conference in Karbala. Local media coverage
included Karbala Radio, and the following television channels;
Karbala, Al-Iraqya, Al-Furat, and Al-Salam.

3. (U) Al-Safi publicly admonished the GOI for having only
released one percent of the 2007 budget to the provincial
governments. He mentioned softening the anti-corruption law in
an effort to reduce GOI reticence to release the funds
recognizing that the rules regarding misappropriation are
strict. He called for government officials to empathize with
the people and respond more quickly to their need for public
services. Al-Safi continued with his four week focus on
security reminding the GOI to stand against violence in Diyala
and Anbar.

4. (U) The upcoming tribal sheikhs conference was the second
topic of discussion during the sermon. He called for the
meeting to be in Karbala or Baquba or Ramadi, but that the
meeting needs to happen. Al-Safi explained that regardless of
the location of the meeting, those who have suffered from the
terrorism and violence must attend. Al-Safi reminds his
congregation that Iraq's plurality is healthy.

5. (SBU) Comment: Al-Safi calls on the people to support those
serving in government who do so not for money or for power. PRT
reminds those interested in the sermon that currently 3ID is
posting them as they become available on the following website:
http://www.3idportal.3id.army.smil.mil/c17/RE O-HILLA/default.aspx

REED

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