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Cablegate: Coordinator for Assistance Transition Haslach's

VZCZCXRO8455
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3002 3191441
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151441Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5437
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003002

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR NEA/I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID PGOV IZ
SUBJECT: COORDINATOR FOR ASSISTANCE TRANSITION HASLACH'S
MEETING WITH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ISSAWI

1. (SBU) Summary. Deputy Prime Minister Rafi al Issawi
described the Iraqi leadership as completely consumed with
politics and very unlikely to move forward any significant
legislation prior to January's elections. He suggested
formally calling for meetings of the Strategic Framework
Agreement Joint Coordinating Committee (JCCs) to force the
Prime Minister's office to name a successor to Barham Saleh
as Co-Chair of the Economic and Energy JCC. End summary.

2. (SBU) On November 12, Coordinator for Assistance
Transition Patricia Haslach, USAID Director and EMIN met
Deputy Prime Minister Issawi to discuss follow up to the
Dialogue on Economic Cooperation and press for Council of
Representatives (CoR) passage of key economic legislation.
Haslach asked if the GOI had found a replacement for Barham
Saleh as chair of the Economic and Energy JCC of the
Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) and encouraged Issawi to
energize the SFA working groups.

3. (SBU) Issawi said bluntly that the GOI leadership was
completely preoccupied with politics at the expense of all
else. He was pessimistic that any economic legislation would
pass the CoR before elections. Regarding Saleh's role in the
Economic and Energy JCC, Issawi complained that the Prime
Minister's office was too busy to handle the job, but was
unwilling to let anyone else do it. Issawi had suggested
giving the job to National Investment Commission Chairman Dr.
Sami al Araji, but the PM's office had refused.

4. (SBU) Issawi agreed that it was important to keep the SFA
working groups active while the country's political leaders
were consumed in the months ahead with campaigning and
forming a government. He lamented that some around the PM see
the SFA as a burden rather than a policy tool. He encouraged
Haslach to write to the PM to call formally for meetings of
the Economic/Energy and Services/IT JCCs. This, he hoped,
would force the PM to name a replacement for Saleh.

5. (SBU) Haslach noted that Ambassador Hill and Finance
Minister Jabr would sign within days a memorandum of
understanding to confirm duty-free access for imports
destined for U.S. assistance projects. She told the DPM that
we may call on him, once that is signed, to encourage the
appropriate officials to move quickly to release equipment
currently stuck in Umm Qasr port that is destined for the
Basrah Children's Hospital. (Issawi, a physician, is always
attentive to health issues.)

6. (SBU) The USAID Director informed Issawi of a preliminary
program with the Ministry of Health on H1N1 influenza. He
explained that USAID's larger goals for the health sector
would focus on a substantially larger program for primary
health care, not big hospitals. Issawi agreed, arguing that
past assistance had been too focused on secondary and
tertiary health care.
HILL

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