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Cablegate: Israel Expects to Release Equipment for Waqf

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1285 1681518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161518Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7146
INFO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4288
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9920
RUEHFR/USMISSION UNESCO PARIS PRIORITY 0019

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001285

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/UNESCO KELLY SIEKMAN AND LAURA GRITZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNESCO SCUL KWBG JO IS
SUBJECT: ISRAEL EXPECTS TO RELEASE EQUIPMENT FOR WAQF
DOCUMENT CONSERVATION IN NEAR FUTURE

REF: STATE 60242

1. (SBU) Responding to reftel points, MFA Acting Director for
International Organizations Eli Ben-Tura told PolOff June 16
that the GOI expects to release "in the very near future" the
shipment of technical equipment destined for use by the
Jerusalem Waqf to preserve Islamic-era manuscripts. Ben-Tura
said that "Customs has agreed and the paperwork is ready;"
all that remained was for Israel to receive Jordanian payment
for the storage costs. Barring any last-minute surprises,
the shipment should be released and in Waqf hands well before
the July 2 commencement of the World Heritage Committee
meeting in Quebec, he said.

2. (SBU) On the other issue raised reftel -- continuing
Israeli opposition to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection
and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions --
Ben-Tura was not aware of any change in Israel's position
since its 2005 vote, but acknowledged the European pressure
to sign the Convention. He vowed to discuss our points with
others and respond if anything changes.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
JONES

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