Cablegate: December Middle East Briefing: Praise for Paris,

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1. (U) Summary: UN Under Secretary-General for Political
Affairs Lynn Pascoe delivered the monthly briefing on the
Middle East to the Security Council on December 21. Pascoe
praised the Paris donors' conference but said the goal now is
to generate "real momentum on all aspects of the peace
process." Pascoe described the current impasse in Lebanon as
"dangerous and unsustainable" and urged all Lebanese leaders
to seek a solution that enables presidential elections to
take place immediately. During informal consultations, most
Council members welcomed the Paris conference but identified
continued Palestinian attacks on Israel from Gaza and ongoing
settlement activity by the Israelis as real threats to the
process launched in Annapolis. Most delegations called on
the Lebanese to hold elections and criticized Israeli
overflights of Lebanon. Russian DPR Dolgov said Russia is
engaged in talks with both parties about a "possible" Moscow
conference, and reported that Russia is seeking to convene
both Israel and Syria in an effort to promote a comprehensive
peace. The Council concluded by adopting a brief press
statement proposed by the French on the Paris donors'
conference (text in para 7). End Summary.

Pascoe Presents Update

2. (U) Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn
Pascoe delivered the monthly briefing on the Middle East in a
public briefing of the UN Security Council December 21.
Pascoe said the next few months are critical for the renewed
peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Solid
progress will be essential in the bilateral negotiations. He
said that donors must follow through on their commendable
Paris commitments, and the parties must act to fulfill their
responsibilities, so that a new climate of confidence,
security and physical mobility is established. Pascoe urged
all Lebanese leaders to seek a solution that enables
presidential elections to take place immediately. While
condemning rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel,
Pascoe also said Israel needed to freeze settlement activity,
and expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in
Gaza, aggravated by the ongoing closure of the crossing
points. While publicly calling for the Lebanese to move
immediately to Presidential elections, Pascoe also cited an
increase in Israeli air violations of UNSCR 1701 and
regretted that Israel has not yet provided requested
technical strike data on cluster munitions.

3. (U) Invited to speak privately to Council members, Pascoe
recalled a feeling of optimism at the Paris conference,
saying that more money was raised than was expected. But he
reported a "strong feeling of frustration" on the impasse in
Lebanon and said the failure to hold Presidential elections
had fostered a "poisoned environment." He called on the
Council to keep an eye on the situation.

Council Comments: Ambassador Khalilzad,s Intervention
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. (U) Following Pascoe's formal presentation, Amb Khalilzad
spoke of the three types of efforts underway in pursuit of
the two-state solution. First, the Israelis and Palestinians
held two follow-up meetings to Annapolis, including at the
Paris Donors Conference where $7.4 billion was pledged.
Khalilzad urged everyone to deliver on their commitments.
Second, he spoke of the need for the international community
to support the development of the Palestinian private sector
and build Palestinian capacity. Third, Amb Khalilzad brought
to the attention of all President Bush,s scheduled visit to
the Middle East from January 8-16. On Lebanon, Khalilzad
spoke of U.S. concerns that the Lebanese have been unable to
exercise their democratic right to elect a president. He
said, "We urge the minority within the opposition in Lebanon
who are blocking the elections, and those outside Lebanon who
support it, particularly Syria, to cease their demands to
bring about an election via unconstitutional measures." He
also said the Council should be prepared to consider
additional measures to support the legitimate government of

Other Delegations Comment

5. (U) All delegations praised the Annapolis Conference and
the Paris Donor Conference. They focused on Roadmap
obligations, including a freeze on settlements and a
cessation of terrorist attacks against Israel. Delegations
also urged Israel to do more on freedom of movement and
access. While delivering a generally balanced statment,
Qatari PR Nasser also lamented Israel's "policy of siege and
starvation" in violation of international law. Many
delegations also cited the need to restore Palestinian unity.

USUN NEW Y 00001207 002 OF 002

Russian DPR Dolgov, while confirming Russian support for
President Abbas, said Russia is "absolutely convinced" that
no agreement between Israel and the PA can be implemented
without restoration of Palestinian unity.

6. (U) Dolgov also said Russia is working with the parties on
a possible Moscow conference. The goal of an international
meeting remains on the Russian desk. He reported that Russia
is thinking about how to arrange bilateral talks between
Israel and Syria in support of a comprehensive solution to
the Arab-Israeli conflict. Qatar and China said that they
looked forward to the upcoming Middle East conference in
Moscow. Qatari PR Nasser characterized the Moscow conference
as "promising" and added that he "hopes that it is a real

Discussion of Press Statement

7. (U) The French proposed a draft press statement on the
donors' conference in Paris. Russia, China, Qatar, and
Indonesia sought a reference to UNSC resolution 1515, which
endorsed the Roadmap. USUN recalled that in Annapolis the
parties had agreed to direct negotiations on the
implementation of the Roadmap, and urged the Council to
respect the parties' preference and limit the Council's
comment to the Paris conference. The Council agreed and
adopted the following statement:

8. (U) Draft Press Statement: The situation in the Middle East

The members of the Security Council welcome the international
donors, conference for the Palestinian State held in Paris
on 17th December which has provided a strong international
signal of support to the Palestinian people and the
Palestinian Authority and which constitutes an important step
in a broader process aiming at the realization of the vision
of two states living side by side in peace and security;

The members of the Security Council thank all participants
for their pledges, urge a rapid disbursement of these
pledges, based on equitable burden-sharing among all donors
and call upon all those states and international
organizations in a position to do so to assist in the
development of the Palestinian economy, to maximize the
resources available to the Palestinian Authority, and to
contribute to the Palestinian institution-building programme
in preparation for statehood.

The members of the Security Council reaffirm their commitment
to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East
based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338
(1973) as well as the other relevant Security Council

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