INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Iraq Reconstruction: Rome a Positive Stopover For

Published: Wed 15 Oct 2003 05:01 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ROME 004724
SIPDIS
STATE PLEASE PASS EB/EPPD FOR ELIZA KOCH, EUR/WE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN PREL IZ IT
SUBJECT: IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION: ROME A POSITIVE STOPOVER FOR
THE DELEGATION ROADSHOW
REF: A. ROME 4586
B. ROME 4665
1. THE FIVE-MEMBER OFFICIAL DELEGATION FROM IRAQ, HEADED BY
AMBASSADOR MAREK BELKA, STOPPED IN ROME OCTOBER 9 FOR LESS
THAN 24 HOURS. THE DELEGATION FIRST MET WITH THE DIRECTOR OF
THE MFA IRAQ TASK FORCE RICARDO SESSA ALONE, THEN WITH THE
TASK FORCE -- WHICH INCLUDES INTERAGENCY AND PRIVATE SECTOR
REPRESENTATIVES -- ON IRAQ'S PRESENT ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND
SECURITY SITUATION (REF A). FINALLY, SESSA HOSTED A DINNER
IN HONOR OF THE DELEGATION, WHICH PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR
THE DELEGATION TO NETWORK WITH ADDITIONAL PRIVATE SECTOR, GOI
AND U.S. EMBASSY REPRESENTATIVES.
2. THE DELEGATES ALL REPORTED BEING WELL-RECEIVED BY THEIR
ITALIAN HOSTS, WHO, THE IRAQIS SAID, SHOWED GENUINE INTEREST
IN IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION. THEY NOTED THAT THE ITALIANS SEEMED
PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN THE OIL AND INFRASTRUCTURE
SECTORS, BUT NEITHER SIDE GOT INTO SPECIFICS OF PROJECTED
DONATIONS AT THE MADRID CONFERENCE. THE DINNER INCLUDED SOME
THIRTY GUESTS, AMONG WHOM WERE REPRESENTATIVES FROM
FINMECANICA (AN ITALIAN MULTINATIONAL HIGH-TECH MANUFACTURING
COMPANY) AND ALITALIA. THE IRAQIS DESCRIBED THEM AS THE MOST
ENTHUSIASTIC PARTICIPANTS AT THE EVENT. TELECOM ITALIA IS
REPORTEDLY ALSO INTERESTED IN BIDDING ON FIXED-LINE
TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN IRAQ, WHICH
HELPS EXPLAIN THE COMPANY'S INCLUSION AMONG ITALY'S POTENTIAL
MADRID PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPANTS (REF B).
3. WHILE IT OPTED FOR A RELATIVELY LOW-KEY VISIT, THE MFA
ISSUED A PRESS STATEMENT OCTOBER 9 WHICH HIGHLIGHTED THE
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE IRAQ TASK FORCE TO CONSIDER RECENT
ECONOMIC REFORM MEASURES IN IRAQ AND TO REVIEW OPPORTUNITIES
FOR ITALIAN FIRMS TO PARTICIPATE IN IRAQI RECONSTRUCTION
PROJECTS.
SEMBLER
NNNN
2003ROME04724 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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