Cablegate: Arab League Secretary General Moussa Letter to The
DE RUEHEG #0434 0461605
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151605Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3627
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS CAIRO 000434
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ARABL KPAL MEPN IS EG
SUBJECT: ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL MOUSSA LETTER TO THE
SECRETARY ON JERUSALEM
Sensitive but unclassified. Please handle accordingly.
1. (SBU) Post received a letter from Arab League Secretary
General Amre Moussa, addressed February 7, 2007, to the
Secretary of State regarding Jerusalem and its status with
respect to the World Heritage Convention. The text of
Moussa's letter is below at paragraph two. The original
letter will be pouched to NEA/RA. Of note, the letter was
dated one day before conflict erupted over Israel's
construction work at the Mughrabi Gate.
2. (SBU) Text of Arab League Moussa's February 7 Letter to
League of Arab States
The Secretary General
Cairo, February 7, 2007
Let me at the outset express my appreciation for the
important cultural and historical role played by your
country, as a member of the World Heritage Committee in
charge of preserving this heritage all over the world.
In this context, I would like to draw your attention to an
issue regarding the preservation of the cultural heritage in
Palestine. The Arab Ministers of Culture have categorically
rejected the inclusion by Israel of Jerusalem as an Israeli
site on the World Heritage List which represents a defiance
of international law and resolutions of international
legitimacy, including the World Heritage Convention. The
Arab Ministers of Culture have issued a communique in this
regard that has been transmitted earlier to you by the
Director General of ALECSO (The Arab League Educational,
Cultural and Scientific Organization).
As you know, the Security Council has affirmed in several
resolutions (No. 252/1968, 267/1969, 298/1971, 446/1979,
452/1979, 465/1980, 476/1980, 478/1980, 605/1987) that
Israel's attempts to change the legal and demographic status
of East Jerusalem are illegitimate. The General Assembly
also adopted similar resolutions, confirming that East
Jerusalem is an occupied territory and that, consequently,
Israel is considered an occupying power.
The inclusion of East Jerusalem on the heritage list by
Israel, an occupying power, represents a flagrant violation
of Israel's legal obligations in accordance with
international law, as well as with both Security Council and
General Assembly resolutions.
The World Heritage Committee will hold its next meeting in
New Zealand on June 23, 2007 to discuss this matter.
Therefore, I address this message to you with the request
that the Committee would help ensure that principles of
international law are upheld and that the Committee would not
approve the inclusion of Jerusalem on Israel's preliminary
heritage list, in compliance with the fact that East
Jerusalem is an occupied city.
I am confident that Your Excellency understands the intricate
and sensitive situation concerning Jerusalem to the Arab,
Muslim, and Christian worlds, and therefore understands the
demand to exclude Jerusalem from the Israeli preliminary
list. I have addressed a message in this regard to the
Director General of UNESCO requesting him to bring the matter
to the attention of the World Heritage Committee.
End text of letter.