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Cablegate: Gaza: Unsc Defers Prst Discussion Until Thursday

VZCZCXRO9459
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0075 0232258
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 232258Z JAN 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3608
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 1791
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000075

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER KPAL KWBG UNSC IS
SUBJECT: GAZA: UNSC DEFERS PRST DISCUSSION UNTIL THURSDAY
BUT FOURTEEN COUNTRIES SUPPORT REVISED TEXT

REF: A. USUN 63 (NOTAL)
B. USUN 64

1. (SBU) The UN Security Council met on January 23 to
continue discussions on the draft Presidential Statement
(PRST) on the situation in Gaza prepared by the Arab group in
New York and tabled by Libya. Following a meeting of UNSC
political coordinators the morning of January 23, in which
USUN argued that a PRST was not necessary but several
delegations nevertheless proposed amendments to the draft,
the Libyan delegation introduced a revised version of the
PRST during afternoon UNSC consultations at the Perm Rep
level that "called on all parties to immediately cease all
acts of violence, including the firing of rockets into
Israeli territory," noted "Israel's decision to suspend the
closure of the crossing points and called for it to be fully
implemented," and "welcomed the proposal made by the PA to
assume responsibility for the Palestinian side of the Gaza
Strip border crossing points." (Note: Revised text e-mailed
to IO/UNP. End Note.)

2. (SBU) After the Libyans circulated the text, the fourteen
other UNSC delegations besides USUN expressed support for it
and urged that the Council adopt a statement on Gaza as soon
as possible. Several delegations, including France, Italy,
the UK, Russia, China, Croatia, and Belgium, expressed a
willingness to make further changes to the text if that would
help the Council reach agreement. But Russia and China
cautioned that any changes should not distract the PRST from
its focus on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Amb Wolff
continued to argue against a PRST in principle, explaining
that there did not seem to be a common appreciation of the
causes and the overall context of the current situation. He
also noted that the revised text still did not condemn the
ongoing rocket firings since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in
2005, it did not address the illegal seizure of power in Gaza
by Hamas in June 2007, nor did it recognize the humanitarian
situations in both Gaza and southern Israel. France was most
supportive of the U.S. position, noting that although the
revised text had brought some balance to the text, the
Council should continue its work on January 23 in order to
reach consensus.

3. (SBU) The Libyan PR, noting the influx of Palestinians
into Egypt earlier on January 23 had made the situation a
threat to regional stability, bemoaned the Council's
inability to respond quickly to the situation on the ground.
He then announced that the Council would reconvene at 1100
EST on January 24 to continue discussions on the draft PRST
and expressed the expectation that all delegations would have
received instructions on the text by that time.
KHALILZAD

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