OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUCNAI #0007/01 0522353
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 212353Z FEB 07
FM USDEL SECRETARY
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 PARTO 000007
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2017
SUBJECT: (U) SECRETARY RICE'S FEBRUARY 17 MEETING WITH
FORMER PM ALLAWI
1. (U) Classified by: Arnold Chacon, Deputy Executive
Secretary, S/ES, Department of State. Reason 1.4.(d)
2. (U) February 17, 2007; 12:30; Baghdad, Iraq.
3. (U) Participants:
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
S/I David Satterfield
Shayna Steinger (Embassy Notetaker)
Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi
4. (S) SUMMARY. In a February 17 meeting at the Embassy,
the Secretary urged former Prime Minister and head of
centrist Iraqiyya party Ayad Allawi to reenter Iraqi
politics in an active manner. She called on Allawi to
play a hands-on role in achieving a consensus on urgent
national reconciliation goals, particularly de-
baathification reform, hydrocarbons, and provincial
elections legislation. The former PM shared his views on
the current political and security situation, suggesting
the United States engage regional friends to help contain
Syrian and Iranian intervention and calling for a
"rebalancing" of political forces in Iraq. END SUMMARY.
5. (S) Invited by the Secretary to share his perspective
on the situation in Iraq, former PM Ayad Allawi expressed
support for the Baghdad surge strategy, but shared his
view that its success would ultimately be determined by
"regional elements." For the surge to succeed, Allawi
advised the Secretary to enlist Arab states in containing
Iranian and Syrian influence.
6. (S) The Secretary explained that the United States is
indeed working to engage the Gulf states, Jordan, and
Egypt in supporting Iraq, but stressed that without
internal reconciliation, what happens outside Iraq will
PARTO 00000007 002 OF 002
not matter. As leader of the moderate secular party
Iraqiyya, the Secretary urged Allawi to actively reenter
Iraqi politics: saying, "What the Iraqis need right now
is your hands-on, everyday presence."
7. (S) Allawi assured the Secretary that he was "here to
stay." He said a rebalancing of political forces inside
Iraq was needed to reverse the spread of sectarianism and
the institutionalization of militias, and changes in the
cabinet to address incompetence and corruption.
Prominent, absentee Iraqiyya CoR member, Adnan Pachachi,
who accompanied Allawi, commented that current thinking
within Iraqiyya was toward forming a broad, centrist
coalition offering Iraqis an alterative to sectarian and
religious-base parties. The Secretary strongly urged both
interlocutors to bring the center to bear in achieving the
key political priorities of deebathification reform,
hydrocarbon, and provincial election laws and
8. (S) Pachachi asked what follows if security is
achieved in Baghdad. "The point of the Baghdad security
plan is not so the U.S. can get out," replied the
Secretary, "We will be here" continuing to work closely
with the Iraqi security forces and support the government.
Once a sense of security for the population has returned
to the capital, economic reconstruction and governance
efforts should be extended to the provincial and local
levels. The Secretary pointed out that democracy in a
country as large as Iraq could not be run from the center
but would require competent provincial and local
9. (S) The Secretary emphasized the United States remained
committed to Iraq, but also made clear that progress on
key political priorities was urgent given U.S. domestic
impatience with Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence and the inability
to reach political compromises. The Secretary encouraged
Allawi to waste no time in helping achieve national
reconciliation. "The time is now," she said, "Your
country needs you."
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