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Cablegate: Progress in the Cultural Cooperation of the Strategic

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #2701/01 2801205
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071205Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4983

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002701

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL KPAO OEXC PGOV PREL IZ
SUBJECT: PROGRESS IN THE CULTURAL COOPERATION OF THE STRATEGIC
FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

1.Summary: In support of Section IV (Cultural, Educational and
Scientific Cooperation) of the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA),
the Public Affairs Section (PAS) has been working to meet key
objectives. The following paragraphs highlight recent progress
including the International Visitor Leader Program (IVLP), a pilot
Fulbright program for Iraqi scholars, youth and academic exchanges,
new student advising and English language teaching programs, and the
Iraq Education Initiative. End summary.

2. IVLP: Mission Baghdad has the largest IVLP in the world. One
hundred forty-five Iraqis participated in the IVLP and twenty-two
Iraqis participated in the Voluntary Visitors (VolVis) program in
FY09. It is projected that up to 170 Iraqis will participate in the
IVLP in FY10. The IVLP and the Volvis are excellent avenues to
strengthen the development of Iraq's future leaders, especially in
the themes most important to our Mission Strategic Plan (MSP) and
the SFA.
3. Fulbright Student Program and Humphrey: The June 10, 2009 GoI
announcement that it would match the USG's contribution to the
Fulbright Student program dollar for dollar (a $2.5 million
contribution from the GoI for the 2010 Fulbright program) has
doubled the size of the program from 35 to 70 Iraqi grantees, making
it the largest Fulbright program in the region. We also anticipate
sending nine Iraqis as Humphrey fellows in 2010.

4. Fulbright Scholar Program: ECA and PAS Baghdad are setting up the
first summer Fulbright Scholar program in NEA. We anticipate that
25 Iraqi Scholars will go to five U.S. universities for the ten-week
program in summer 2010. This will be an excellent way to establish
linkages between U.S. and Iraqi scholars and institutions while
preventing Iraqi brain drain, an important concern for the GoI and
the USG.

5. Other Exchanges: PAS Baghdad manages the Iraq Youth Leaders
Exchange Program (IYLEP) that sends over 200 Iraqi high school and
university students to the U.S. during the summer to work on
leadership development, conflict resolution and teambuilding. This
program provides opportunities for interaction with Americans of all
ages and backgrounds through camp attendance, family home stays and
community service. Iraqis also participate in the regional MEPI
Student Leaders and Tomorrow's Leaders programs, and the Women2Women
leadership program. Each year, a group of young Iraqi athletes
travels to the U.S. for sports-related training. Four Iraqi
schools will partner with American schools through the Global
Connections and Exchange program to improve the application of
information technology and online resource development. As part of
the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project (ICHP), twelve Iraqi
archaeologists and conservators are benefiting from a six-month
workshop at the Chicago Field Museum to enhance their artifact
conservation techniques. Moreover, the USG has provided funding
support for the Future of Babylon Project where experts from the
World Monuments Fund and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and
Heritage are collaborating to develop a site management and
conservation plan for the ancient site of Babylon.

6. Iraqi Education Initiative (IEI): On July 25, 2009, Iraqi Prime
Minister Al-Maliki announced the launch of the IEI during his trip
to Washington. This historical initiative, if fully implemented,
would send up to 50,000 Iraqi students over the next 5 years for
higher education in four Anglophone countries: the U.S., the U.K.,
Australia and Canada. It is expected that up the majority of these
students would study in the U.S. The first group of Iraqi students
Qstudents would study in the U.S. The first group of Iraqi students
is expected to arrive in the U.S. in early 2010. The short and long
term benefits of this initiative to the bilateral relationship are
tremendous.

7. English Language Programs: In addition to launching the ACCESS
program in Iraq and to continuing the successful English online
training for Iraqi teachers, PAS Baghdad is expanding English
teaching programs in FY10 with two new pilot programs. A nationwide
"Train the Trainers" program will provide Iraqi teachers, students
and supervisors modern and effective methods to teach ESL. The
pilot program at Baghdad University will focus on EST training for
secondary and post secondary English teachers at both the College of
Education and the Women's College of Education.

8. Educational Advising: PAS Baghdad has awarded a grant to train
about 200 Iraqi student advisors. Training sessions occurred in
Erbil (Sep. 27 - Oct. 1), will soon take place in Baghdad (Oct.
10-13) and possibly in other cities as determined with GoI
officials. The advisors come from academic communities throughout
Iraq (university professors and administrators), are GoI officials
and members of NGOs. They all share an interest in providing
well-qualified Iraqi students with the guidance and tools necessary
to embark on successful study programs in the U.S. PAS Baghdad is
also engaging with University Presidents and senior education
officials in order to initiate enduring and meaningful university
linkages between Iraqi and U.S. universities.

9. (SBU) Comment: We continue to urge the GoI to appoint an Iraqi
co-chair for the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on Cultural,
Educational and Scientific Cooperation. Meanwhile, PAS Baghdad will
continue to carry out programs under Section IV of the SFA and

provide periodic activity updates to the Department. End comment.


HILL

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