Viewing cable 03ABUDHABI1750
Title: IRAQI EXPATS IN UAE CONVEY MESSAGE TO

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUDHABI17502003-04-12 13:37:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
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Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:33:12 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           April 12, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1750 - UNKNOWN)         

TAGS:     PGOV, PREL, MOPS, KPAO, KDEM                           

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  IRAQI EXPATS IN UAE CONVEY MESSAGE TO THE USG:  HONOR  
          YOUR PLEDGE TO THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ                      

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 01750

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: POL 
    INFO:   RSO AMB DCM P/M ECON 

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MMWAHBA
DRAFTED: POL:STWILLIAMS
CLEARED: DCM:RAALBRIGHT

VZCZCADI308
OO RUEHC RUCNRAQ RHEHNSC RUEAIIA RHEFDIA RUEKJCS
RUEKJCS RUCJACC
DE RUEHAD #1750/01 1021337
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121337Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9374
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J2/J3/J5/UNMA// IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//OSD/NESA// IMMEDIATE
RUCJACC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2/CCJ3/CCJ5// IMMEDIATE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ABU DHABI 001750 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP AND NEA/NGA 
 
KUWAIT FOR ORHA 
 
NSC FOR P/E KHALILZAD AND RHANSON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/13 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPAO KDEM IZ TC
SUBJECT:  IRAQI EXPATS IN UAE CONVEY MESSAGE TO 
THE USG:  HONOR YOUR PLEDGE TO THE 
PEOPLE OF IRAQ 
 
REF:  Abu Dhabi 737 
 
¶1. (U) Classified by Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba 
for reasons 1.5 (B) and (D). 
 
¶2. (U) This cable contains an action request, please 
see paragraph 7. 
 
¶3. (C) SUMMARY: Polchief -- after securing agreement 
from the organizers that she would be in listening 
mode only -- accepted an invitation to a 4/10 to a 
gathering of Iraqi expatriates in the UAE organized 
by Dr. Bashir Al-Samarrai (with whom Special 
Presidential Envoy Dr. Khalilzad had met during his 
February visit to the UAE, see reftel).  Over 100 
expats, most of them professionals, representing 
Iraq's ethnic and religious mosaic attended the 
private function held in a local hotel's conference 
room.  They presented an 11-point paper which they 
asked Polchief to convey at the earliest possible 
opportunity to the USG.  The event proved to be a 
forum both for an emotional outpouring of anti- 
regime sentiment, as well as the expression of 
continued deep concern about Iraq's immediate 
humanitarian needs.  Any jubilation over the 
regime's demise had already been replaced by deep 
anxiety over the scenes of chaos relayed by the 
world's press (no doubt fueled by concern about the 
fate of relatives still in Iraq). 
 
¶4. (C) SUMMARY CONTINUED:  Among those present was 
the "Syed" (religious leader) of the powerful 
Samarrai clan, who had left Iraq only two weeks ago. 
He spoke eloquently about the need to respect the 
religious, cultural and social customs of the people 
of Iraq.  Polchief learned from another attendee 
that the head of the Al-Shammar tribe (Iraq's 
largest tribe) is also visiting the UAE and was 
warning that the tribe would not accept humiliating 
treatment of its members by coalition forces, i.e. 
the hooding of prisoners.  From those Iraqi expats 
who had managed to escape the regime much earlier, 
the recent scenes of chaos and destruction back home 
appeared to engender a strong desire to return 
and/or assist with reconstruction as quickly as 
possible -- perhaps resulting in part from what 
appeared to be almost a sense of guilt that they had 
escaped the worst of the regime and its death-throes 
while so many Iraqis had not.  These feelings led to 
many questions about the precise mechanism for expat 
Iraqis to return to serve their country.  We are 
sure other posts are being similarly queried and 
would appreciate guidance on how we may respond. 
Based on the strong representations of the expat 
community here, it would appear that many in the 
Iraqi diaspora are eager to make a positive 
contribution -- one we should welcome.  The group 
agreed to form sub-committees and requested further 
meetings with the Embassy.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
FREE FROM THE WATCHFUL EYES OF THE MUKHABARAT, AN 
IMPROMPTU GATHERING DRAWS A LARGE CROWD 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
¶5. (C) Approximately 100 members of the large Iraqi 
expatriate gathered on April 10 to voice their 
concerns about the future of Iraq.  Dr. Bashir Al- 
Samarrai, who met with Special Presidential Envoy 
Khalilzad in February in the UAE, addressed the 
group, carefully noting that those gathered did not 
represent any political party.  At the outset, Al- 
Samarrai commented that the meeting was 
extraordinary because, for the first time in thirty 
years, Iraqis were able to gather without the fear 
that their remarks would make it back to the regime. 
They were grateful to the U.S. and the coalition but 
expressed great anxiety about the road ahead.  Al- 
Samarrai read from an 11-point paper addressed to 
the USG, titled "Iraq for All Iraqis and Equality 
under the Law," the full text of which is contained 
in the last paragraph of this cable.  Following Al- 
Samarrai's presentation, the floor was opened to 
comments in what evolved into a lively give-and-take 
during which those who have for too long muted their 
voices spoke out freely about their homeland. 
Highlights of both the formal presentation and the 
informal give-and-take were: 
 
-- The coalition must take immediate steps to stop 
the looting, burning and, in particular, trashing of 
the hospitals in Iraq.  It is very disconcerting to 
see coalition troops standing by while buildings are 
being looted. 
 
-- We must take immediate steps to get supplies, 
equipment and doctors into the hospitals.  There are 
no medicines, no anesthesia. 
 
-- The destruction of ministries and government 
buildings is wiping away evidence of the regime's 
crimes.  We must protect the documents with which we 
can bring those who have committed crimes to 
justice. 
 
-- The sanctions must be lifted as soon as possible. 
 
-- Travel restrictions must be lifted.  Iraqi 
expatriates must be allowed to return to see their 
families and help in the rebuilding of their 
country. 
 
-- Economic sanctions should be lifted. 
 
-- War reparations and debts should be forgiven. 
 
-- The frozen assets of the regime should be turned 
over to a freely elected government, not to 
opposition political leaders. 
 
-- Above all, Iraqi's territorial integrity must be 
respected as must the country traditions, religions 
and socio-cultural institutions. 
 
------------------------------ 
FORMAL LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS 
------------------------------ 
 
¶6. (SBU) Beginning of text: 
 
We are Iraqis from all walks of life and different 
sectors of Iraqi society:  Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans, 
Muslims (Sunnis and Shi'as), Christians and others. 
We were and are opposed to the dictatorial regime of 
Saddam Hussein and look forward to the day of his 
downfall. 
 
We are gathered here at this critical moment in 
Iraq's history to share our thoughts and to express 
our common desire and wish to convey a message to 
the U.S. Government through our guest, Ms. Stephanie 
Williams (the Head of the Political Section at the 
U.S. Embassy in the UAE).  We are all united in the 
hope for the U.S. and the international community to 
honor its pledge to Iraq's people by easing the 
hardships and suffering of the people of Iraq by 
taking the following steps: 
 
A) The immediate end to the UN economic sanctions 
imposed on Iraq after the Gulf War. 
 
B) Waive the war reparations imposed on Iraq as a 
result of the Gulf War. 
 
C) Forgive all debts. 
 
D) We urge the U.S. Government and members of the 
International Community to protect all of Iraq's 
assets by temporarily freezing these assets, pending 
handover to a future legitimate Iraqi Government. 
(Note:  Al-Samarrai added that these assets should 
not be given to some unnamed opposition figures who 
have been asking for them.) 
 
E) We would like to express our opposition to the 
appointment of discredited leaders who lack 
credibility and legitimacy and wish to make it very 
clear that legitimacy is derived from the Iraqi 
people, not by an outside power. 
 
F) Iraq's oil belongs to the Iraqi people and no one 
should have the right to decide its future, and 
concession rights but the newly elected Government 
of Iraq.  (Note:  Al-Samarrai commented that unnamed 
Iraqi expats were contacting oil companies seeking 
to negotiate contracts.  End Note.) 
 
G) We demand the immediate abolishment of all 
institutions that have been used to oppress the 
people of Iraq such as the Mukhbarat (Iraqi 
Intelligence Service), the secret police and the 
Aman Al-Khaas (special security) and the trial of 
all those who have been responsible for committing 
crimes. 
 
H) We demand the reorganization of the armed forces 
in order to purge it from all elements that have 
contributed to Saddam's crimes and the armed forces 
must be subordinate to the people through its 
elected government and must serve the Iraqi 
constitution. 
 
I) We call upon the U.S. and the British forces to 
show respect and sensitivity towards the people of 
Iraq and their religious, cultural and social 
customs. 
 
J) We aspire that a semblance of normality return as 
soon as possible.  This is to ensure that the 
disruptions caused by the war on the educational and 
health establishments, and other institutions that 
serve the nation are minimized and adequate 
resources are directed to these institutions to 
bolster their effectiveness. 
 
K) We demand that all travel restrictions to our 
beloved country are lifted as soon as possible. 
 
We declare our "Commitment to Democracy" and the 
rule of law. 
 
The new democratic system in Iraq must be based on 
the respect for human rights, separation of powers 
(executive, legislative, judicial) and the 
separation of religion from the state. 
 
END OF TEXT 
 
¶7. (SBU) Post requests guidance on how to direct 
those Iraqis interested in returning to Iraq, when 
conditions permit, to serve in the Interim Authority 
or future governing body or simply to take up their 
lives there.  Will there, for instance, be a 
screening mechanisms, entry permits, etc.?  We also 
request guidance on how to respond to requests from 
this group for future meetings with Embassy 
personnel. 
 
WAHBA