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Cablegate: Gaza: Security Council Drops Prst After Libya

VZCZCXRO4423
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0085 0292230
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 292230Z JAN 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3622
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 1793
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000085

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER KPAL KWBG UNSC IS
SUBJECT: GAZA: SECURITY COUNCIL DROPS PRST AFTER LIBYA
ISOLATED

REF: A. KUMAR/PHEE/MEYER E-MAILS
B. USUN 75
C. USUN 71
D. USUN 65

1. (SBU) After four days of negotiation on a draft
Presidential Statement (PRST) on the situation in Gaza, in
which USUN was initially isolated 14-1 but eventually
persuaded all other delegations except Libya to support the
U.S. position, Security Council Ambassadors met on January 29
and decided that it would be impossible for the UNSC to reach
consensus on this issue and dropped the item from
consideration. Before the Council consultations began, Amb
Wolff and Libyan PR Ettalhi met to discuss the way forward,
in light of the amendments proposed by Libya to the draft
PRST agreed by fourteen delegations on January 25 (ref A).
They agreed it would not be possible to reach consensus given
the wide divergence in views represented in the January 25
text and the Libyan amendments. Ettalhi also told Amb Wolff
that Libya would not/not table a draft resolution in place of
the PRST. After the bilateral meeting, the Libyan PR
informed the rest of the Council that it would not be
possible to reach consensus, and Amb Wolff supported this
view.

2. (SBU) Most of the other Council members expressed regret
that the UNSC had been unable to pronounce itself on the
situation in Gaza. Several delegations, including South
Africa, Vietnam, Costa Rica, and Russia, said they could have
accepted both the amended version of the PRST presented by
Libya on January 28 as well as the draft supported by
fourteen delegations on January 25. The UK and Belgium
raised objections to the amendments presented by Libya, which
deleted any condemnation of the rocket attacks against Israel
and expressed concern about Israeli incursions into Gaza. UK
Amb Sawers argued that the UNSC could not equate rocket
attacks with acts of self-defense. Italy and Panama appealed
to the U.S. and Libya to try again to reach consensus, but
eventually agreed that such an effort would not succeed.

3. (SBU) Although Ettalhi told Amb Wolff that Libya would
not/not table a resolution in lieu of the PRST, USUN has
learned that Syria and Qatar pushed the Arab Group at the UN
to meet on January 29 to consider, in light of the inability
of the UNSC to reach consensus on a PRST, whether to raise
the Gaza issue in a special session of the UNGA.
WOLFF

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