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Cablegate: Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians Moving Forward

VZCZCXRO9490
PP RUEHDE
DE RUEHKO #1987/01 1990745
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170745Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5913
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0218
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0364
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4420
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0300
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0314
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0520
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2114
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2428
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 9708
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 6193
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0332
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0581
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0410
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0767
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0096
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0376
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/USFJ
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 001987

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KWBG KPAL IS JO JA
SUBJECT: ISRAELIS, PALESTINIANS, JORDANIANS MOVING FORWARD
ON JAPAN'S CORRIDOR FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY

1. (U) SUMMARY: Japan, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians
made further progress on Tokyo's "Corridor for Peace and
Prosperity" (CPP) initiative at a ministerial meeting in
Tokyo July 2. For the first time the parties were able to
agree on the text of a joint press statement which indicated
the site for the agro-industrial park which is to be the
centerpiece of the initiative will be established in Area A
in Jericho hopefully in early 2009. Other issues remain
unresolved. Japan will contribute funding but the other
parties also will undertake to find additional sources of
financing. The ministers were received by Prime Minister
Fukuda who underlined Japan's continued commitment to helping
achieve peace in the Middle East. On July 3, the ministers
participated in a public seminar where they shared their
views on the prospects for peace in the Middle East. END
SUMMARY.

---------------------------------------------
PROGRESS ON CORRIDOR FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY
---------------------------------------------

2. (U) Tokyo was the site July 2-3 for the Third
Ministerial-Level Meeting of the Four-Party Consultative Unit
for the Corridor of Peace and Prosperity (CPP). The meeting
was hosted by Foreign Minster Yasuhisa Koumura and was
attended by Palestinian National Authority Minister of
Planning Dr. Samir Abdallah, Israeli Minister of
Environmental Protection Gideon Ezra, and Jordanian Minister
of Foreign Affairs Salaheddine Al-Bashir. The four agreed
for the first time on the text of a joint press statement,
which announced the parties have agreed on the site of the
agro-industrial park that is the centerpiece of the
initiative.

3. (U) The highlights of the press statement are that the
project will be constructed in Area A in Jericho with
possible future expansion in an "adjacent area." The
feasibility study for the project being conducted by Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is targeted for
completion in November 2008, with the implementation phase of
the project foreseen to begin "as early as possible" in 2009.
Japan will provide an as yet unspecified amount of Official
Development Assistance (ODA) for the project but the other
parties undertake to "involve international and regional
development funds" as well. The parties stressed the need to
develop the public-private partnership aspect of the
initiative and mentioned the creation of a Four-Party
Agricultural Technical Cooperation plan. Left unresolved are
the access routes from Jordan to the agro-industrial park.
The economic efficiencies and security concerns of the
proposed routes are still under discussion. Following the
meeting, FM Koumura hosted a reception in honor of the
delegations. The next day, the delegation heads addressed a
public seminar on the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

4. (U) Prior to the ministerial meeting, the delegation
leaders were received by Prime Minister Fukuda who welcomed
them and stressed that the establishment of a viable
Palestinian state, living in peaceful co-existence and
co-prosperity with Israel, was indispensable to achieving
peace in the broader Middle East region. Abdallah replied
that cooperation between all the parties, especially Israel,
is key to success, and called on Israel to make more land
available to the Palestinians and to ensure access and
freedom of movement for people and goods. Ezra called the
meetings in Japan a model for future peace process
cooperation, noting it was unthinkable a few years ago that
such a meeting would be taking place, and said Israel would
render support to the development of a viable Palestinian
economy and to the improvement of Palestinian living

TOKYO 00001987 002 OF 003


conditions. FM Al-Bashir thanked Fukuda for Japan's support
and cooperation both to the peace process and to Jordan,
individually.

--------------------------
JAPAN: SUPPORT TO CONTINUE
--------------------------

5. (U) At the public seminar on July 3, Japan's Special Envoy
for the Middle East, Ambassador Tatsuo Arima made note of the
many obstacles which have appeared since the Peace Process
was relaunched at Annapolis, but observed that the process
continues due to the tenacity of those engaged in
negotiations on both sides. He emphasized that Japan will
continue to give its strongest possible support to both Prime
Minister Olmert and President Abbas, and that it will persist
in working with the Palestinians to enhance democratic
governance capabilities through human resource development,
the building of government infrastructure, and the
development of a viable economy.

-------------------------------------
PALESTINE: ISRAEL MUST RELAX ITS GRIP
-------------------------------------

6. (U) Palestinian Minister of Planning Abdullah thanked
Japan for its contributions to the Palestinians and explained
that economic development is a key to the Palestinian vision
of a free, democratic, progressive state with its capital in
East Jerusalem. "Economic prosperity generates hope, and
hope marginalizes extremism and helps to establish security."
He made a pitch for increased foreign investment, citing
several times a March 2007 World Bank investment climate
assessment report. However, he also asserted the growth of
the Palestinian economy is limited and constrained by the
Israeli occupation, citing roadblocks, checkpoints, and the
wall as obstacles to Palestinian movement that limits them
from using, enjoying, or accessing their lands. "True
economic prosperity will come only with true Palestinian
freedom and statehood -- starting with Israel substantially
relaxing, and ultimately eliminating, its restrictions on the
movement of people and goods with Palestine, to Israel, and
to the rest of the world." Finally, Abdullah pointed out
that economic projects and investments in the Palestinian
territories must be for the benefit of the Palestinians, not
the Israelis. "Such projects should loosen and, certainly,
should not entrench Israeli colonization of Palestinian land."

--------------------------------------------- ---
ISRAEL: HAMAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING "CALM"
--------------------------------------------- ---

7. (U) Israel, said Minister Ezra, believes that with regard
to Palestine, there is no path other than peace, and there
can be no other solution than the establishment of two
national states for two peoples. This will involve painful
compromises for both sides he continued. But despite
Israel's best efforts to negotiate with the Palestinians, it
must be remembered that Israel is facing "conflict thirsty"
neighbors on both southern and northern borders: Hamas and
Hizbollah, both of which are directly encouraged by Iran.
Israel has accepted the "calm" with Hamas brokered by Egypt,
but this cannot be sustained if Hamas simply uses it to
rearm. "Terror and smuggling are the two grounds that will
call for Israeli military action in Gaza," he warned. Hamas
bears sole responsibility for everything that occurs in the
Gaza Strip, and it -- not Israel -- is responsible for the
maintenance of calm. Ezra also reminded the audience that no
real progress to alleviate pressure on Gaza can be
contemplated without Hamas addressing the issue of abducted

TOKYO 00001987 003 OF 003


soldier Gilad Shalit. Ezra also touched upon the threat to
Israel posed by Iran, stating that its progress toward
developing a nuclear weapon is unacceptable and must be
stopped immediately, preferably by international diplomatic
efforts. Finally, he positively noted recent developments on
the Syria-Israel track which are being mediated by Turkey.

--------------------------------------------- ----
JORDAN: ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DISPUTE IS CORE ISSUE
--------------------------------------------- ----

8. (U) Jordan believes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is
the core issue in the Middle East and is a major source for
all other problems in the region, said Jordanian Foreign
Minister Al-Bashir. Accordingly, Japan's CPP initiative must
be acted upon as quickly as possible, as it aims to establish
a solid relation between peace and security on the one hand,
and improvement of living conditions on the other. In
addition to expressing deep appreciation to Japan, Al-Bashir
also emphasized the promises that were made in Annapolis must
be delivered upon, and warned that the continuation of
settlement activity greatly risks the ongoing negotiations in
addition to fueling the seeds of doubt in the hearts and
minds of many as to the seriousness of the peace effort.
Al-Bashir also subtly noted that all components of the
initiative, including the rehabilitation of the "Prince
Mohammad Bridge" and the construction of a new cargo airstrip
in Jordan -- both aspects of the CPP initiative that are the
most important to Jordan, and the ones that have yet to be
agreed upon -- must be included in the final plan in order to
serve the mutual interests of all the parties involved.


ZUMWALT

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