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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Bush Visit to Middle

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UNCLAS TOKYO 000115

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - BUSH VISIT TO MIDDLE
EAST


LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Tuesday morning include a
Kazakhstan government decision to take away some of the
concessions held by Japan and other foreign nations in
a Caspian Sea oil development to increase domestic
control of the multinational initiative.

1. "U.S. Calls for Encirclement of Iran" A
correspondent for the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri
wrote from Riyadh (1/15): "During his speech in the
United Arab Emirates on Sunday, President Bush called
Iran the world's 'leading sponsor of terrorism' and
expressed his resolve to tighten the net around it. In
order to drum up support for this policy, President
Bush during his ongoing tour of the region has
refrained from calling on Arab states to take steps
toward democracy. He also plans to notify Congress of
his administration's plans for a $20 billion package of
military aid for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Given that Bush's 'containment' policy lacks specifics
and that Arab countries' distrust in him remains
strong, it remains to be seen whether this strategy
will bear fruit."

2. "Arabs Disappointed with Bush Visit" A Cairo-based
reporter for the Yomiuri stated (11/15): "Although Arab
countries were initially hopeful that President Bush's
visit to the region signaled a change in the failed
U.S. Middle East diplomacy of the past seven years,
they are now deeply disappointed with the rigidity of
the U.S. positions on Iran and the issue of Palestinian
refugees. In his address on Sunday, President Bush
stressed the need to contain Iran and reiterated his
previous concept of dividing the world into 'friends'
and 'foes.' However, this approach will be unacceptable
to the moderate Sunni Arab states near Iran, as Saudi
Arabia and other Gulf states are exploring a path
toward 'coexistence' with Tehran. Egypt is also moving
toward rapprochement with Iran.... If Washington
continues its current policy line, it will undermine
the position of pro-U.S. Arab moderates and instead
reinforce that of such anti-U.S. states as Iran and
Syria."

DONOVAN

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