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Cablegate: Baghdad Requests Participation in Iip's Strategic Speaker

VZCZCXRO2121
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHGB #3629 3210637
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160637Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0411
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003629

SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO ECA/PE/C/CU, NEA/PPD, NEA/I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OEXC SCUL IZ
SUBJECT: BAGHDAD REQUESTS PARTICIPATION IN IIP'S STRATEGIC SPEAKER
INITIATIVE WITH WALTER RUSSELL MEAD

1. (U) Summary: Embassy Baghdad requests participation in the
Speaker and Specialist Program by hosting Walter Russell Mead in
early January. Post would like to organize a program which utilizes
Mead to engage Iraqis who are interested and engaged in
international issues. Our audience will consist of important mission
contacts, including some our strongest NGO and academic partners in
Baghdad who have limited access to American intellectuals. End
summary.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

2. (U) Post proposes a three-day program, not counting travel days,
featuring Walter Russell Mead engaging with a variety of local
audiences. Day 1 will start with a meeting and lunch with the Iraqi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and staff from both the Embassy and the
Ministry. Following that, Mead will be the guest at a
representational event at the Ambassador's Residence with a select
group of Iraqi authors. On Day 2, Mead will present to a convening
of the International Relations and Political Science Departments at
the University of Baghdad. This will be followed in the afternoon by
a discussion session with Baghdad-based NGOs that are focused on
international issues, peace studies, and democracy-building. On Day
3, Mead will participate in a media engagement with selected Iraqi
press in order to create opportunities for promoting a positive
message regarding U.S. intentions in the Middle East.

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PUBLIC DIPLOMACY THROUGH INTELLECTUAL DIALOGUE
-
3. (U) In order to continue to build better relationships with
Iraqis from several facets of society, post is interested in
creating a series of dialogue opportunities which will address
regional multilateral cooperation and other imperative political
issues. Post has attempted to bring Walter Russell Mead to Iraq two
times previously but security considerations have prevented the
implementation of the trip. Due to improvements in access and
safety, coupled with the increased interest in Iraq-American
relations because of the current security agreement negotiations,
post believes it is time to engage Iraqis with high-level discussion
on these matters with a well-regarded, non-Embassy source.

-
ITINERARY
-
4. (U) The proposed itinerary follows:

-- Sunday, January 4: Mead arrives in Baghdad.

-- Monday, January 5: Meeting with the Iraq Minister of Foreign
Affairs and higher level staff from the Ministry and the U.S.
Embassy followed by a representational event at the Ambassador's
Residence with well-known Iraqi authors.

-- Tuesday, January 6: Presentation to faculty and students at the
University of Baghdad's International Relations and Political
Science Departments followed by a separate discussion group session
with several Baghdad-based NGOs.

-- Wednesday, January 7: Media engagement with Iraqi press to talk
about issues regarding international cooperation and geopolitical
peace concerns.

-- Thursday, January 8: Mead leaves Baghdad for next post.

-
POST SUPPORT
-
5. (U) Post is prepared to generate the audience, build partnerships
with local co-hosting organizations, provide translation, lodging,
meals, security, in-country transportation and address all technical
aspects associated with this program.

CROCKER

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