S E C R E T AMMAN 009593
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2014
TAGS: PREL, ASEC, IZ, JO
SUBJECT: KING ABDULLAH ON IRAQI ELECTIONS AND ALLAWI VISIT
REF: STATE 254809
Classified By: CDA David Hale for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
(S) Summary: The GOJ remains deeply worried that January
31 elections in Iraq will produce either chaos, a Shia
landslide, or both. King Abdullah reiterated his support for
Allawi and his readiness to help with outreach to Iraqi Sunni
Arabs if Allawi wants it. Allawi generated goodwill among
some Iraqi Sunni in Amman. End Summary.
(S) Charge delivered reftel points, urging the GOJ to
encourage Sunni Iraqi participation in elections, in the
course of December 2 meetings with the King, including with
visiting CENTCOM commander General Abizaid. King Abdullah
said he considered Allawi to be "on board" for elections as
scheduled. But both King Abdullah and Allawi were concerned
over what happens if the atmosphere is not conducive to
peaceful polls. Allawi was candid, the King said: the IIG
is "committed" to elections, but, at the same time, it has to
be flexible "and be reaching out to the Sunnis." The King
said Jordan still supported elections January 31, and would
do what was needed to help, including by encouraging Sunni
participation. If there is a delay, Allawi should make clear
that the reason is the need to include the Sunnis, not the
(S) The King reiterated that the Amman conference of
Sunni Iraqi Arabs, planned for November 10, was postponed at
Allawi,s request because of the operations in Fallujah. It
will be Allawi,s call, the King said, on when the atmosphere
is right to reconvene a conference. Jordan was working hard
to help; its support was "110 percent." "We can hold a
conference in Jordan at any time" if the IIG requests it.
(S) King Abdullah made similar points during a December 1
luncheon with Senators Hagel, Biden, Feinstein and Chafee.
The King said "we all want to make elections happen on time."
But it will be hard to do so if instability continues.
Elections will produce a parliament to write a constitution;
how, the King asked, can that work if all elements are not
represented? The King was worried that elections held
without credible Sunni participation could lead to
cantonization or civil war. If there is a delay of the
elections, he added, it should be accompanied by a program
and timetable for a new electoral process. An indefinite
delay would be a mistake.
A Shia Menace?
(s) Echoing a presentation made to the CoDel earlier by
intelligence chief Saad Kheir, King Abdullah warned against
Iran,s "negative role." Iraqi Shias, loyalty was to Iran,
not Iraq, and Sistani was working on their behalf, he said.
The King painted a picture of a monolithic Shia Arab/Iranian
threat to Jordan and Israel if they "take over" southern
Some Iraqi Sunnis in Amman Take to Allawi
(SBU) Meanwhile, PM Allawi and DPM Barham Salih met with
a number of Iraqis in Amman, including Anbar province
sheikhs, but there was still no sign of the large-scale
conference that has been rumored for weeks. Post,s Iraqi
Sunni contacts were favorably impressed with Allawi, and
claimed they were willing to take up his offer to ally
against Shia extremists and work with him on persuading
kinsmen in Iraq to participate in elections. Some claimed
Allawi was considering convening a political conference in
Dubai in the coming weeks.
(S) Comment: King Abdullah,s support for Allawi remains
solid, and he will take his cues from Allawi when it comes to
dealing with the problem of maximizing Sunni participation in
elections. The King is genuinely worried about the fortunes
of Iraq,s Sunni Arabs, which he sees as linked to Jordan,s,
and he shares the common Jordanian phobia toward Shi,ism.
Post,s Iraqi Sunni contacts were uniformly positive on their
meetings with Allawi, but admitted that the kinds of emigres
who would say otherwise don,t meet with Allawi, or with us.
(U) Baghdad minimize considered.