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Viewing cable 05ANKARA82, SCENESETTER FOR JAN. 11 U.S.-TURKEY-IRAQ TALKS ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05ANKARA82 2005-01-06 13:01 2011-02-18 00:12 SECRET Embassy Ankara
Appears in these articles:
http://rusrep.ru/article/2011/02/03/kurdistan/
P 061331Z JAN 05
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3209
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 
AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 
HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// PRIORITY
NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
ODC ANKARA TU PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISP:EUR/ISP:NESA// PRIORITY
39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU//CC// PRIORITY
425ABS IZMIR TU//CC// PRIORITY
HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
S E C R E T  ANKARA 000082 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2025 
TAGS: MOPS PTER PREL PREF IZ TU EUN AM CY RS
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR JAN. 11 U.S.-TURKEY-IRAQ TALKS ON 
PKK/KONGRA-GEL 
 
REF: A. 04 STATE 201785 (NOTAL) 
     B. 04 STATE 2084...

S E C R E T ANKARA 000082 E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2025 TAGS: MOPS PTER PREL PREF IZ TU EUN AM CY RS

SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR JAN. 11 U.S.-TURKEY-IRAQ TALKS ON PKK/KONGRA-GEL REF: A. 04 STATE 201785 (NOTAL) B. 04 STATE 208448 (NOTAL) C. 03 ANKARA 6231 (NOTAL) D. 04 ANKARA 509 (NOTAL) Classified By: Ambassador Eric S. Edelman for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
Summary
1. (C) Embassy appreciates the participation of our colleagues from Washington, Baghdad, and EUCOM in Jan. 11 trilateral (U.S.-Turkey-Iraq) talks on the PKK/Kongra-Gel. On. Jan. 5, Turkish MFA provided us with a rough outline for the talks themselves. In this message we hope to lay out what we believe are issues the U.S. side may want to consider, or perhaps propose as action items at the talks. While Kongra-Gel's command and control structure is located in northern Iraq, we should acknowledge that they use other countries for logistical and financial support. We should address these items as well, if only to point out to the Turks and the Iraqis that the issue goes beyond just their two countries. End summary.
2. (C) MFA Iraq Desk Director Avni Botsali told PolMilOff Jan. 5 that the GOT will not submit a written agenda for the talks. Instead, the Turkish HOD, Special Coordinator for Iraq Koruturk, will briefly introduce a TGS presentation on PKK/Kongra-Gel. The three HODs will then make opening remarks, followed by an open discussion of the issues. The Turks then hope for a set of agreed minutes. He added that the GOT hopes that at the talks the U.S. side will demonstrate serious intent to "help alleviate the frustration" many official Turks feel regarding PKK/Kongra-Gel's continuing presence in northern Iraq. He also expressed concern that--according to the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad--the IIG only seemed to be sending MFA officials to these talks. Botsali said that if the U.S. side can share any information on our plans for the talks, the Turks would be most appreciative. He believes the talks will begin between 1030 and 1100 on Jan. 11. Koruturk will offer a lunch at the appropriate time, followed by further discussion as needed. Botsali did not believe the talks would last until COB Jan. 11. The Turks will host the talks in a hotel conference room in an Ankara suburb.
3. (C) Turkish officials acknowledge that the insurgency has made it difficult for both MNF-I and the IIG to take kinetic action against PKK/Kongra-Gel. However, faced with a constant stream of soldiers being killed in renewed anti-PKK operations in Turkey's southeast and the deep concern among intelligence officials that the PKK has infiltrated major Turkish cities in order to open a new terrorism front, the Turks insist that we make good on our word--delivered at the highest levels--that we will act. Although the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqis more than six months ago means that the IIG is in the driver's seat on policy towards terrorists on Iraqi soil, our Turkish interlocutors still expect U.S. participation in anti-PKK actions.
PKK/Kongra-Gel in Iraq
4. (S) Given the apparent lack of Kongra-Gel terrorist action inside Iraq, the political challenges faced by the IIG and the security situation that has stretched the Iraqi Security Forces, it is not surprising that the IIG is reluctant to take action now. Per ref a instructions, however, we can attempt to persuade the Iraqis to take certain minimal steps to show the Turks that the IIG takes the issue seriously. Per reftel, these include: --Close the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Solutions Party in Iraq, and declare this "party," a front for the PKK terrorist organization, illegal. --Issue arrest warrants for PKK/Kongra Gel terrorists and leaders who may be in Iraq and, when they are arrested, either return them to Turkey for prosecution or prosecute them under Iraqi law. --Join the Kurdish Regional Government in high level public statements that the IIG will not permit the PKK to operate or have safehaven in Iraq. --Begin patrolling around Makhmour camp to discourage PKK/Kongra-Gel activity in the camp.
5. (S) Additionally, the cable instructed Embassy Baghdad to tell the IIG: "The U.S. and MNF-I will work with you on ways to implement such actions." We need to be prepared to discuss what we are prepared to do--and when--to help operationalize this. Finally, the IIG and IECI seem prepared to permit two PKK/Kongra-Gel front parties, including the Kurdistan Democratic Solutions Party, to participate in Jan. 30 elections. This is surprising and steps to prevent it would still be appropriate.
6. (S) Discouraging PKK/Kongra-Gel activity around Makhmour Camp is not something to be done in a vacuum. Most residents of the camp are Turkish citizens who fled to Iraq in the 1990s during the worst of the fighting with PKK/Kongra-Gel within Turkey. While the Turks want to close the camp and bring its citizens home, it is concerned that PKK/Kongra-Gel routinely infiltrates Makhmour. In Jan. 2004, Turkey, UNHCR, and the IGC (with CPA support) negotiated an agreement to close the camp and voluntarily repatriate its residents to Turkey (ref d). The deal fell through, however, because the Turks insisted that Secretary Powell sign a letter of guarantee, including a commitment to take the steps necessary to stop PKK/Kongra-Gel infiltration. We were not then (and likely are still not) in a position to provide such a guarantee to the Turks. If the Iraqis were to provide this security (perhaps with MNF-I support), it could finally lead to the long-overdue closure of this camp and an orderly, voluntary repatriation process under UNHCR auspices.
PKK/Kongra-Gel Outside of Iraq
7. (S) While northern Iraq may be PKK/Kongra-Gel's main command and control center (and Turkey its main target), this terrorist organization is active in other countries. We defer to Washington's expertise, but based on our information we believe we need to be prepared to address--or perhaps offer an action plan--for dealing with the following: --PKK/Kongra-Gel presence in and utilization of Cyprus and Armenia --Russia as a transit hub or support for PKK --Ref b indicates that DoD was to provide additional information to State regarding television stations that are likely PKK/Kongra-Gel fronts, with an eye toward demarching the Belgians and Danes. Can we report progress on this issue? France closed a forerunner of Roj TV; is there information there that can help persuade the Danes? --PKK financing operations in Europe, as well as PKK front offices there --We understand that a PKK training camp was raided by the Dutch not long after the Van Gogh murder. Do we have info to share on PKK methodology and other intel we can share with Turkey and/or Iraq? --Previous U.S.-Turkish talks on the PKK (ref c) discussed the full range of tools of statecraft to be deployed against the PKK/Kongra-Gel. Any further progress we have made outside Iraq in providing intelligence and law enforcement assets per that undertaking (that we can share) would be helpful. The lists above are by no means exhaustive or complete. We hope they will be useful food for thought for addressees.
8. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.
EDELMAN