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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Mideast, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, U.S.-Germany,

R 261219Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1527
INFO WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
FRG COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
USMISSION USNATO
USMISSION USOSCE
HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
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UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS BERLIN 000836


STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/AGS, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO GM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: Mideast, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, U.S.-Germany,
Serbia, Economic

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Mideast) Berlin Conference, Israeli Government Crisis
3. (Zimbabwe) Run-Off Elections
4. (Pakistan) Infiltration From Afghan Border Region
5. (U.S.-Germany) U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Germany
6. (Serbia) New Government
7. (U.S.) Interest Rates


1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening
newscast Tagesschau opened with stories on the European soccer
semifinals. Newspapers led with diverse stories. Editorials
focused on the SPD and Zimbabwe.

2. (Mideast) Berlin Conference, Israeli Government Crisis

S|ddeutsche comments: "While representatives from 40 countries are
making efforts to cheer up Palestinians by pouring money onto them,
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and his coalition partner, Barak, are
fighting for their political survival. The parallel developments
speak volumes concerning the prospects of the Mideast peace process.
Great things cannot be expected at the moment because Olmert's
government is too weak. New elections would neither create peace
because the likely election winner is Netanyahu, who is not prepared
to make compromises with the Palestinians. At the last minute,
Olmert and Barak realized that their nerve-racking fight would lead
them to a political nowhere and stopped their coalition crisis for
the time being. This did not win them anything but time. The best
thing that can happen until the elections in 2009 or 2010 were
pragmatic moves to create peace, such as the truce Egypt negotiated
with the Palestinian Hamas. Although the agreement has been
fragile, it forces both sides to a minimum of rapprochement and
reconciliation. In this sense, the results of the of the Berlin
conference are progressive. If Europeans help the Palestinian
police to create security, this helps ease Israel's grip on the
occupied West Bank." Die Zeit writes: "This is new: There is a
Mideast conference and everybody claims to have had the idea.... It
is not a coincidence that the conference took place in Berlin. In
Europe, only the Germans are trusted by Israelis and Palestinians.
Now they want to use this confidence."

3. (Zimbabwe) Run-Off Elections

Sueddeutsche Zeitung editorializes that the crisis in Zimbabwe
"primarily reveals one thing: dictators who are as tough and as
brutal as Mugabe continue to triumph." The paper adds: Mugabe's
success reveals how helpless the international community and the
Zimbabweans are. They find no way to put rulers like Mugabe out of
action." The paper concludes that opposition leader Tsvangirai's
step to withdraw from the election campaign "is an important signal
that the world needs to accept to unmask Mugabe for what he is: a
criminal who should not lead, but who should be put on trial before
a criminal court."

According to Die Welt, "Mugabe has left the stage when clearly
targeted sanctions could have had an effect. But the African states
could exert pressure on Mugabe, because he is dependent on South
African assistance. A first step could be to force him to accept
humanitarian assistance again...and the international community
could force South Africa's President Mbeki to take action by
threatening consequences for the upcoming world soccer championship
in South Africa. The Tibet/China case revealed that, in view of
such prestigious projects, it is possible to influence events."
Handelsblatt opines that "thanks to South Africa's President Mbeki,
Mugabe's ZANU party still controls the security forces, the media,
and the state resources. But the longer the regional SADC now
hesitates to take action, the faster Mugabe will be able to regroup
his forces. That is why SADC should no longer adopt tiresome
resolutions but must totally isolate the dictator in Africa."

4. (Pakistan) Infiltration From Afghan Border Region

Frankfurter Allgemeine comments: "We should not dramatize the
situation in Pakistan, but nobody can claim that it is looking
particularly good. The new government, which intended to create
peace with groups in tribal areas, was unable to prove that this
strategy is successful. Almost every problem in this region can be
traced back to Pakistan. The harassed Afghan President Karzai
therefore recently threatened the neighbor to take military action
if Pakistan does not create law and order in the border region.
Many people have been wondering whether Pakistan is unable or
unwilling to get the critical region under control. Both
assumptions are probably true. However, if Islamabad is indeed
increasingly losing control over the region, it is turning into a
problem for all of us because supplies for the international troops
in Afghanistan come from Pakistan and the country is a nuclear
power."

5. (U.S.-Germany) U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Germany

Mittelbayerische Zeitung of Regensburg argues that "the nuclear
vestiges are a security problem, as well as a strategic and tactical
problem. The fact that the report [on the security risks] was
deliberately leaked to Germany shows the unease among our big
partner, too. In addition, the contenders for the U.S. presidential
office say that they want to get the nuclear bombs and the missiles
back. But it would even be better if they were scrapped at the same
time."

6. (Serbia) New Government

Berliner Zeitung notes that the European Commission in Brussels
"must now make the coalition in Belgrade understand that it does not
fit together to show a European-friendly face and, at the same time,
block and condemn an EU engagement in Kosovo as a hostile act. The
transition from the UN administration to an EU mission in Kosovo
should now be possible - without the UN Security Council." The
daily, however, criticizes that former dictator Milosevic's foster
child, socialist leader Ivica Dacic, "one of the most unpredictable
and nimblest politician in the Balkans, will take over the Interior
Ministry of all ministries." The daily argues that he has to deal
with the restructuring of the security forces and the search for war
criminals Karadzic, Mladic, and Hzadic. The paper concludes: "Thus
far people assumed that socialist old boy networks have offered
cover for the three and would get them out of danger. But if
Dacic's administration confirms this suspicion, the relief in the EU
should soon be over."

7. (U.S.) Interest Rates

Handelsblatt opines that "Ben Bernanke is a milquetoast. He clearly
knows that he should send a more obvious signal for an increase in
interest rates to contain expectations of rising inflation. But we
don't hear anything about this in his remarks." The daily writes
that, nevertheless, the markets have understood his most recent
message. "For the time being, nothing will happen, i.e., no
increase in interest rates. But with this move, the Federal Reserve
is again forfeiting part of its reputation. Only recently Bernanke
indicated that he could soon pursue a tougher course.... But it was
soon evident that he would not match his words with deeds. And if
this impression is accurate, the stock markets will love him, but
the rest of the world would raise even more accusations against
him."


TIMKEN

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