Cablegate: Security Council Renews Dfi Protections for Iraq

DE RUCNDT #1202/01 3582138
R 232138Z DEC 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 133293

1. (SBU) Summary: On December 22 the Security Council
unanimously passed resolution 1859, providing for a one-year
extension of protections for Iraqi assets, including the
Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) and a Security Council review
of all resolutions pertaining to Iraq since the adoption of
resolution 661 (1990). Iraqi FM Zebari gave a statement in
which he stressed Iraq's security and political progress, but
noted that challenges remain and therefore Iraq still
requires these protections so that resources will be
available for Iraq's recovery and reconstruction projects.
Italy, France, Indonesia, the UK, and the U.S. all gave brief
statements welcoming Iraq's progress and pledging continued
support by the international community. End Summary.

2. (SBU) In a December 22 meeting the Security Council
unanimously passed resolution 1859 providing for a one-year
extension of arrangements and immunities associated with the
Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), Iraq's oil and gas exports,
and Iraqi revenues. It also provides for a Security Council
review of all resolutions pertaining to Iraq since the
adoption of resolution 661 (1990). Iraqi Foreign Minister
Zebari was present for the vote and gave a statement in which
he stressed Iraq's security and political progress, but noted
that challenges remain. He highlighted Iraq's national unity
government, describing it as pushing ahead with national
reconciliation, and emphasized Iraq's rejection of extremism.
"Iraq has stepped back from the brink of civil war," Zebari
said. He pointed to improvements in the Iraqi Security
Forces and Iraq's progress in taking responsibility for its
own security; and underlined its commitment to human rights
and rule-of-law.

3. (SBU) The recently-completed agreements with the U.S. on
withdrawal of troops and strategic framework, Zebari noted,
direct the future bilateral partnership and define the
temporary presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. He noted that
2011 is a realistic date for the withdrawal of all U.S.
forces. The expiration of the MNF-I mandate on December 31
marks "a turning point for Iraq and the end of an important
era for the UN," Zebari said. He thanked the MNF-I troop
contributing countries for their accomplishments and
sacrifices, and noted that Iraqi is entering this new phase
of security arrangements with "cautious confidence."

4. (SBU) Zebari acknowledged that Iraq will continue to
require a significant level of security and military support,
and will also require the international community's
continuing support, including through UNAMI, the ICI, and the
Neighboring Countries mechanism. He thanked UNAMI SRSG
Staffan de Mistura for UNAMI's crucial work in supporting the
government and people of Iraq, and reiterated the GOI's
pledge to provide $25 million for the new UN compound in
Baghdad, plus another $25 million when construction actually

5. (SBU) Although the GOI is moving ahead with extensive
reconstruction and reconciliation projects, it needs
assurances that Iraqi assets will be protected so that
"resources and financial assets are available for the
country's recovery program," Zebari asserted. That is why
Iraq requested the extension of protections just approved in
UNSCR 1859. He emphasized that Iraq is "fully committed to
the resolution of all legitimate claims, and to complying
with its obligations under international law." He added that
in particular, "Iraq is fully committed to implementing all
binding resolutions concerning Kuwait with respect to Kuwaiti
borders, sovereignty, and settlements for the aggression from
the former regime." But this process will take time, he
explained, and so Iraq needs protection for its critical
assets in order to continue this process.

6. (SBU) The situation in Iraq is fundamentally different now
than it was when UNSCR 661 was passed in 1990, Zebari
continued. "Iraq is no longer a rogue state." Iraq now has
democratic institutions, seeks peaceful coexistence with its
neighbors and is a partner in the fight against global
terrorism. This changed situation, he said, is why Iraq is
eager for the review of all Security Council resolution
pertaining to Iraq as called for in the newly-passed UNSCR.
However, he stressed, "Iraq is fully committed to abiding by
our obligations under Security Council resolutions."

7. (SBU) Italy spoke briefly, reaffirming its support for
Iraq's efforts to move forward, but cautioning that the
review process for resolutions pertaining to Iraq must be
carried out with care, to avoid any unintentional impact on
situations or signed contracts that were in place before the
implementation of sanctions regimes. France noted that this
marks a new stage Iraq's return to full sovereignty and said
France will continue to support Iraqi progress towards peace

USUN NEW Y 00001202 002 OF 002

and security and its reintegration into the international
community. Indonesia noted that support by the international
community is still necessary for Iraq's continued progress,
and stated that most important issue for Iraq is to continue
inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation, which will
lead to long-term stability. The UK PermRep welcomed the end
of the MNF-I mandate and noted that UK forces in Iraq will
complete their tasks in the first months of 2009 and then
withdraw; welcomed the continuation of arrangements for DFI;
and commen
ted that an important decision had been taken by the Council
in stating its intention to review the Saddam-era
resolutions. This will be a priority for the Council, he
said, and should be done with a view to terminating those
resolutions as soon as possible.

8. (SBU) Ambassador Khalilzad congratulated the Iraqi
government and people for their progress and stressed the
need for continued support for Iraq. He emphasized three
vital elements of the resolution. First, he noted, it
recognizes progress in all areas in Iraq -- security,
political, and economic. Second, it plays an important role
in helping to facilitate further progress in Iraq, since the
protections extended by the resolution will help the Iraqi
government implement its economic development plans. And
finally, the commitment by the Security Council to review
resolutions that pertain to Iraq will be a key step forward
for Iraq. The situation in Iraq is fundamentally different
now than it was when resolution 661 was adopted in 1990,
Ambassador Khalilzad said, and so this review is a reasonable
request and we look forward to the Secretary General's


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