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Cablegate: Unami, Mnf-I Brief Security Council On Iraq

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0899/01 2952118
ZNR UUUUU ZZH CCY TEXT ADX 001FAFFB TOQ2469 614
O 222118Z OCT 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2850
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000899

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C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (SENSITIVE CAPTION ADDED)

SENSITIVE

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: UNAMI, MNF-I BRIEF SECURITY COUNCIL ON IRAQ
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIFED

1. (U) Summary: At the October 19 debate on Iraq in the
Security Council, Undersecretary for Political Affairs Lynn
Pascoe told Council members that the UN was focused on
implementing its expanded role as authorized in Security
Council Resolution 1770. Pascoe emphasized that the UN "must
be given political and humanitarian space" in Iraq, and its
ability to talk to all sides "must be respected." Speaking
on behalf of MNF-I, Ambassador Khalilzad noted security gains
in Anbar, Diyala and Ninewa provinces, and underscored the
crucial importance of international and regional engagement.
Iraqi PermRep Bayati emphasized his government,s
determination to focus on national reconciliation and echoed
Ambassador Khalilzad,s emphasis on international and
regional engagement. Council members all acknowledged the
recent security gains but noted that the security situation
remains tenuous, and called on the Iraqi government to focus
on national reconciliation and on passing needed legislation.
Council members also expressed their concern regarding the
humanitarian situation, which the UN described as
"worsening." Several Council members called on stricter
control and oversight of private security forces. Some,
including Russia and France, called for a timetable for the
withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq. End summary.

U/SYG DISCUSSES UNAMI

2. (SBU) Undersecretary for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe
told the Council that Iraq still faced enormous challenges,
although the security trends in September were better than
before. The key priority is Iraq,s wider political
reconciliation process, and the UN "stands ready to assist."
Pascoe acknowledged the UN,s strengthened role in Iraq, and
the expanded mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission
for Iraq (UNAMI). He noted that UN staff ceilings in Baghdad
and Irbil had increased, and the UN was considering reopening
its office in Basra. UNAMI is working to become more
self-sufficient, said Pascoe, and he urged the international
community to help the UN in this regard. He announced that
the Distinct Entity Trust Fund, which pays for the UN,s
"middle-ring security" will be exhausted by November. (Note:
UN staff told Poloff separately that the Secretary-General
will be sending letters asking for new contributions to the
Trust Fund. They asked for U.S. assistance in following up
with prospective donors, once the UN has made their initial
request. End note.)

3. (U) Pascoe underscored the importance of regional
engagement, and said "neighboring countries need to embrace
responsible actions." He added that dialogue among the
neighboring countries was "encouraging." Pascoe urged that
that the UN and UNAMI be given "political and humanitarian
space" in fulfilling its mandate. He emphasized that the
UN,s ability to talk to all sides "must be respected."

THE ROLE OF MNF-I

4. (U) Ambassador Khalilzad spoke on behalf of MNF-I, and
provided an update of the security, political and economic
situation in Iraq. He reinforced calls for international and
regional engagement, but noted that Iran and Syria were
playing destabilizing roles and "appeared to believe they can
benefit from instability in Iraq." He concluded that the
security situation in Iraq is transforming, and noted that
the Iraqis have stressed the importance of renewing the MNF-I
mandate. He said the U.S. intends to put forth a resolution
renewing the MNF-I mandate before the end of the year. The
UK PermRep, speaking in his national capacity, told the
Council that the UK remained dedicated to MNF-I and its role
in Iraq, while beginning the transition to "over watch" in
the south. He noted that the significant and positive impact
on security by MNF-I and Iraqi security forces needed to be
followed up with political steps.

COUNCIL MEMBERS, IRAQ REACT

5. (U) Council members underscored three main themes: 1)
concern over the humanitarian situation, especially the
growing numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees;
2) the importance of renewed international and regional
engagement on Iraq issues, especially the upcoming Expanded
Neighbors meeting in Istanbul; and 3) support for an expanded
UN mandate. Separately, a number of countries, including
Russia, South Africa, Congo and Qatar, criticized the role of
private security contractors in Iraq. They expressed support
for the Iraqi government,s decision to restrict contractors.
Russia said that private security contractors were hurting
not only the Iraqi government "but also foreign diplomats in
Baghdad, including Russian diplomats." South Africa said
contractors risked blurring the line between the military and
civilians, and argued they should be subject to international
law.

6. (U) Russia and France both called for a timeline for the
withdrawal of foreign forces in Iraq. Russia said that a
"hasty withdrawal" would be bad, but that a timeline for
withdrawal is necessary to improve the security situation in
Iraq. Russia also noted that any timetable must include
"prospects of full withdrawal." France was less
prescriptive, and stated its preference for a "withdrawal
horizon for foreign forces." South Africa said that the
Security Council must exercise greater oversight of MNF-I, to
ensure that MNF-I was acting properly under its Security
Council mandate.

7. (U) Iraqi PermRep Bayati emphasized his government,s
dedication to national reconciliation, but said that Iraq
needed significant help from neighboring countries and the
international community. He said, "Iraq aspires to become an
arena for all parties to engage in dialogue rather than a
space for settling issues." Bayati emphasized Iraq,s desire
to expand the UN,s mandate, in particular the role and
presence of the UN,s specialized agencies. Bayati ended
with a call for the Security Council to reassess the role of
the UN Compensation Committee, which is responsible for
compensating neighboring countries following Iraq,s invasion
of Kuwait. Bayati asked that the Security Council suspend
the UNCC deductions taken from Iraq,s sale of oil, because
of Iraq,s tense internal situation.
KHALILZAD

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