INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Tareq Aziz's Visit to Rome - Final Report

Published: Tue 18 Feb 2003 02:40 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ROME 000657
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL IT IZ IRAQI FREEDOM
SUBJECT: TAREQ AZIZ'S VISIT TO ROME - FINAL REPORT
REF: A. MILAN 105
B. ROME 619
C. ROME 559
D. MILAN 89
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 ROME 00657 181609Z
E. SECSTATE 36445
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: TAREQ AZIZ'S VISIT TO ROME DID LITTLE TO
CHANGE THE GOI'S FIRM STAND ON IRAQ. AS REQUESTED IN REF E,
PM BERLUSCONI DID NOT MEET AZIZ. FM FRATTINI SENT A TOUGH
MESSAGE TO AZIZ IN PERSON AND IN PUBLIC ON IRAQ'S NEED TO
COOPERATE IMMEDIATELY, FULLY, AND ACTIVELY WITH THE UN
WEAPONS INSPECTORS AND TO SHOW "DEFINITIVE PROOF OF THE
DISARMAMENT REQUESTED BY THE UN." END SUMMARY.
2. (U) FM FRATTINI MET IRAQ'S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TAREQ
AZIZ IN ROME FEB. 14. THE MFA, WHICH UNDERSCORED THE FACT
THAT AZIZ WAS NOT INVITED TO ROME BY THE GOI BUT BY THE BEATO
ANGELICO FOUNDATION (A FRANCISCAN ORDER), ISSUED THE
FOLLOWING TOUGH-WORDED STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE MEETING.
BEGIN TEXT:
"DEPUTY PM AZIZ, WHO REQUESTED THE MEETING, WAS REMINDED BY
FM FRATTINI THAT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ARE A SERIOUS
THREAT TO THE PEACE AND SECURITY OF THE WORLD. ITALY
SUPPORTS THE EFFORTS OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO MAINTAIN
PEACE AND SECURITY. FM FRATTINI UNDERLINED THE FACT THAT THE
TOTAL AND EFFECTIVE DISARMAMENT OF THE IRAQI ARSENAL OF
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IN
ITALY'S STANCE WITH REGARD TO IRAQ, WHICH FOR MANY YEARS HAS
DEFAULTED ON THE OBLIGATIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE UNITED
NATIONS FOLLOWING THE INVASION OF KUWAIT. IN ACCORDANCE WITH
UN RESOLUTION 1441 AND IN HARMONY WITH THE OTHER MEMBER
STATES OF THE EU, ITALY URGES THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES TO
ACTIVELY PROVIDE THE UN INSPECTORS WITH THE DEFINITIVE PROOF
OF THE DISARMAMENT REQUESTED BY THE UN. TIME IS RUNNING OUT
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 03 ROME 00657 181609Z
FOR IRAQ TO MAKE UP FOR ITS SHORTCOMINGS AND FAILURE TO
PURSUE THE PEACEFUL SOLUTION WHICH ITALY DESIRES. THE IRAQI
GOVERNMENT NOW HAS THE CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY OF OFFERING THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ALL DUE COOPERATION." END TEXT.
3. (SBU) NOT ONLY BERLUSCONI'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, BUT ALSO
ROME'S MAYOR VELTRONI, A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION, HAD TOUGH
WORDS FOR AZIZ. VELTRONI CANCELED HIS FEB. 16 MEETING WITH
AZIZ AFTER AZIZ REFUSED TO ANSWER A QUESTION BY AN ISRAELI
CORRESPONDENT IN A PRESS CONFERENCE FEB. 14. VELTRONI SAID
THAT ROME IS A CITY WHERE THERE IS "ABSOLUTE RESPECT FOR
DIALOGUE AND CIVIL EXCHANGE OF IDEAS." HE ADDED: "YOUR
COUNTRY, MR. DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, MUST COMPLY WITH ALL THE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS AND MUST COOPERATE FULLY WITH
THE INSPECTORS. IN ADDITION, IT MUST FIND THE PATH OF
RESPECT OF THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE AND OF DEMOCRACY."
INFORMAL READ-OUTS FROM SOME OF THE OTHER OPPOSITION MEETINGS
WITH AZIZ SUGGESTED THAT OTHERS OF HIS CENTER-LEFT
INTERLOCUTORS ALSO UNDERSCORED THE NEED FOR IRAQ TO COMPLY
FULLY WITH UNSCR 1441.
4. (SBU) EMBASSY PROVIDED ASSISTANCE TO CHARLES FORREST IN
ARRANGING FOR MEETINGS WITH ITALIAN JOURNALISTS AND
POLITICIANS DURING AZIZ'S TRIP TO ROME. (NOTE: FORREST, AN
AMCIT AND A FORMER FSO, IS THE CEO OF INDICT, A LONDON-BASED
NGO THAT WORKS ON BRINGING SADDAM HUSSEIN AND TOP REGIME
OFFICIALS TO JUSTICE. END NOTE.) FORREST MET WITH SENATE
PRESIDENT PERA FEB. 14 AND PROVIDED EVIDENCE TO HIM SHOWING
THAT HUSSEIN AND HIS REGIME, INCLUDING AZIZ, HAVE COMMITTED
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. IN A PRESS CONFERENCE FOLLOWING HIS
MEETING WITH FORREST, PERA TOLD JOURNALISTS: "FORREST GAVE ME
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 04 ROME 00657 181609Z
DOCUMENTS CONTAINING SERIOUS ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE IRAQI
REGIME: CRIMES COMMITTED WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS, HOMICIDES,
AND TORTURE. AND IN ALL OF THIS DEPUTY PM TAREQ AZIZ SEEMS
TO BE INVOLVED AS WELL." ON FEB. 14, FORREST AND HIS ITALIAN
ATTORNEY, FABIO GALIANI, FILED A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST
AZIZ FOR GENOCIDE, WAR CRIMES, AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY,
BASED ON ARTICLE 10 OF THE ITALIAN PENAL CODE, TO THE PUBLIC
PROSECUTOR OF ROME, AND ASKED FOR AZIZ TO BE ARRESTED WHILE
IN ROME. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. AZIZ LEFT ROME FEB. 17 TO
RETURN TO BAGHDAD.
SEMBLER
UNCLASSIFIED
>
2003ROME00657 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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