Cablegate: Guidance for April 23 Unsc Consultations On


DE RUEHC #2643 1140313
O 230307Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Mission is instructed to draw from the points
in para 2 below in discussing events in the Middle East
during the briefing and consultations to be held Wednesday
morning, April 23, in the UN Security Council.

2. (U) Begin points:

Mr. President, given the importance of a peaceful
resolution to the conflict in the region, I hope that
today's discussion can demonstrate the Council's ability
to deal in a fair and balanced way with this issue. With
that in mind, I would like to make the following four
points today with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process and then turn to the situation in Lebanon.

First, achieving a peaceful, two-state solution continues
to be a top priority for the United States. This week, the
President will host Palestinian Authority President Abbas

at the White House, and in May, President Bush will make
his second visit to the region this year to participate in
the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the
establishment of Israel. He plans to meet with leaders
from both sides while in the region. Secretary Rice
recently returned from her third visit to the region this
year and National Security Advisor Hadley traveled to the
region just last week. During the Secretary's trip, she
held a successful trilateral meeting with Israeli Defense
Minister Barak and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister
Fayyad that resulted in commitments by both sides to take
concrete steps on the ground, including: (1) the
dismantlement of fifty roadblocks in the West Bank, (2)
improved security coordination, and (3) increased steps by
the Palestinian Authority to uphold law and order and
combat terrorism. Fulfillment of these pledges is
critical in implementing the Roadmap as well as in
demonstrating a mutual commitment to the peace process.

We are monitoring the situation closely and have already
begun to see some progress on the ground in these areas,
including coordination on the opening of a number of
Palestinian police stations in the West Bank. For our part,
we are working with Quartet Special Representative Tony Blair,
the EU, and other donors to coordinate efforts in support
of the parties. We are focusing, in particular, on supporting
efforts in Jenin, where Defense Minister Barak and Prime
Minister Fayyad agreed during their March 30 meeting with
Secretary Rice to work to improve the lives of the Palestinian

people through better performance of the Palestinian security
force, the easing of restrictions on movement and access,
and international support for development projects and
economic growth. We are committed to the success of this
effort in Jenin, which we hope can be subsequently
replicated in other Palestinian cities.

Second, implementation of the Roadmap and achieving a
two-state solution is a shared responsibility. As the
Secretary General has said, the international community

needs to support the efforts of the Israeli and
Palestinian leadership. This process is too important to
lose momentum. The commitment of the international
community, especially in building Palestinian
institutional capacity and supporting economic growth,
remains vital to the success of this process.

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) will meet in London on
May 2 and there is an urgent need for donors to follow
through on their generous pledges from the Paris Donors
Conference. We would especially encourage members of the
Arab League, in recognition of their special role in
supporting this process, to provide robust political and
financial support for the Palestinian Authority under
President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.

The Quartet will also meet on May 2 in London, and we look
forward to a good discussion of how the process begun in
Annapolis is unfolding, and how the international community
can best support the parties' efforts both on the ground and
in their bilateral negotiations.

Third, we are deeply concerned by continued terrorist
attacks from Gaza into Israel and the threat they pose
to the efforts of the parties to achieve the two-state
solution to this conflict. The United States joins the
Secretary General in condemning the recent terrorist

attack that killed two Israeli civilians at the Nahal Oz
fuel terminal and further condemns the simultaneous
suicide attacks on Saturday at the Kissufim and Kerem
Shalom crossings that wounded thirteen Israeli soldiers.
Attacks like these demonstrate Hamas' focus on its own
political agenda above the needs of the Palestinian
people, as well as its continued reliance on violence and
terror. We should not lose sight of the fact that the
difficult situation in Gaza is the result of Hamas'
violent seizure of power there in June. Hamas' recent
terrorist attacks only exacerbate the plight of the
Palestinian people by making it more difficult for the
international community to deliver much needed
humanitarian assistance and goods to the people of Gaza.

Mr. President, Israel has an unquestionable right to
defend itself against terrorist attacks and we urge the
Government of Israel when responding to attacks to take
all possible steps to avoid civilian casualties and to
minimize the impact on innocent civilians. The United
States remains firmly committed to providing essential
humanitarian assistance to help meet the basic needs of
the people living in Gaza and we reiterate our call on
Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza and return it to the

legitimate Palestinian Authority government.

Fourth, we share the international community's concerns about
the hardships facing the Palestinian people. The United States,
through its substantial financial contribution to the United
Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East (UNRWA), has consistently demonstrated its support fo2
humanitarian relief efforts for Palestinian refugees. To date
in FY 2008, the United States has contributed more than $148
million to UNRWA, which includes $57 million for UNRWA's 2008
emergency appeal to support life-saving humanitarian assistance

for refugees in the West Bank and Gaza. The United States
continues to work with the Government of Israel to help support
the efforts of our partners in the international community to
provide essential humanitarian support to those living in Gaza.
We strongly condemn terror attacks against the crossings which
have killed innocent Israelis, prevent the delivery of essentia
goods and services, and do not serve the interests of the
Palestinian people.

With regard to Lebanon, we are deeply troubled that,
although the Lebanese seem to have reached consensus on a
presidential candidate, a minority, backed by Syria and
Iran, both state sponsors of terrorism, are using extra-
constitutional preconditions to block the constitutionally-
mandated presidential elections. The Lebanese parliament has
been closed for over a year, and the presidency has been vacant
for five months. It is long past time to reopen the
parliament and elect a president. We condemn the on-going
interference in Lebanese affairs by Iran and Syria, and express
our deep concern about reports that both Iran and Syria are
engaged in activities that violate UNSC resolutions 1559 and


In addition, international support is critical to the
success of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon. We urge
all countries to support the integrity of the Tribunal,
cooperate with it, and contribute to it financially. The
Tribunal must pursue justice wherever its investigation
leads. The United States has contributed $14
million towards the Tribunal's start up and its first year
of operations. We expect to remain a significant
contributor for its duration. We urge those countries
that have not yet contributed to do so and those that have
made pledges to follow through quickly on providing those

funds. We thank those countries that have already
contributed and ask them to advise the Secretary General
of their intent to continue their support until the
Tribunal completes its work.

© Scoop Media

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