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Cablegate: Settlements Unscr: Arabs to Consider Broadening

VZCZCXRO8629
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0590/01 1842315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 022315Z JUL 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4544
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000590

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

FOR IO AND NEA FRONT OFFICES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER KPAL KWBG UNSC PA IS
SUBJECT: SETTLEMENTS UNSCR: ARABS TO CONSIDER BROADENING
TEXT TO INCLUDE OTHER ROADMAP OBLIGATIONS

REF: A. STATE 69092
B. USUN 573
C. USUN 531

1. (SBU) Libya convened a second UNSC experts meeting on July
2 to discuss its draft resolution condemning Israeli
settlement expansion. (Note: During the first experts
meeting on June 30, several delegations expressed support for
the draft text, but others including USUN and UKUN said they
had yet to receive instructions from capitals -- so Libya
adjourned the meeting. End Note.) During the July 2
meeting, USUN and UKUN argued that the text as drafted could
not be adopted by the Council because it focused on only one
issue from the Roadmap -- settlements -- without addressing
the obligations of other parties or the overall context of
the peace process. Drawing from ref A, Poloff listed several
elements a resolution would need to include to potentially
secure U.S. support, including recognition of progress
achieved thus far in negotiations and on the ground as well
as a call on regional states to cut off public and private
funding for terrorist groups. Recalling the July 2 vehicular
attack in Jerusalem that killed four, Poloff emphasized that
any resolution must unequivocally condemn all such attacks
targeting civilians. Based on these elements, the Libyan
draft would need to be completely rewritten to serve as the
basis for negotiations. USUN and UKUN suggested that
delegations consult with their capitals on whether they could
support addressing this range of elements before experts
begin a drafting exercise.

2. (SBU) France, Russia, South Africa, and Italy all voiced
support for addressing the kinds of elements the U.S. and UK
had mentioned, to ensure the Council is able to take action
on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. South Africa, notably,
said it could support all of the elements USUN listed --
including a condemnation of attacks against civilians -- but
predicted difficulty in agreeing on specific language
addressing these elements. The Libyan expert, recalling that
more than nine delegates supported the Arab draft on June 30,
argued that expanding the focus of the resolution would make
it impossible for the Council to reach consensus. France
pointed out that it would be impossible for the Council to
adopt a resolution solely focused on settlements because the
U.S. would exercise its veto. Russia then urged Libya to
consult with the Arab Group to see if the Arabs are prepared
to engage on a more comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian draft
UNSCR. Russia added that if the Arabs refuse, the only other
option would be to put the Libyan draft in blue and call for
a vote. The Libyan expert, after expressing frustration that
the U.S., UK, and France could not present an alternate text
despite receiving the Libyan draft two weeks ago, agreed to
consult the Arab Group on the idea of a broader
Israeli-Palestinian UNSCR. (Comment: If the Arabs agree to
negotiate a broader text, a view Arab PermReps had earlier
expressed to Amb Khalilad (ref B), the Libyan expert would
then call another experts meeting -- most likely on Monday
July 7 -- and would expect one of the P-3 to propose edits or
an alternate draft. End Comment.)

3. (SBU) Separately, French PR Ripert told Amb Khalilzad on
July 1 that France would be prepared to table a modified
version of the alternate P-3 draft UNSCR at the right time to
draw support away from the Libyan draft and serve as a
possible basis for consensus. (Note: This text was e-mailed
to IO/UNP and cleared by the Department on June 30. End
Note.) Explaining the modifications France would seek,
Ripert argued the alternate draft UNSCR should treat equally
the Palestinian security and Israeli settlement Roadmap
obligations. He suggested using the same language to address
both issues (e.g., "condemn" attacks against civilians as
well as settlement expansion). He said that France would
have other minor text changes to propose, as well. Ripert
said France is in no hurry to take action on this issue, and
would prefer to defer action until after the French-hosted
Euro-Med summit on July 13-14, which will include Arab and
Israeli participation. Ripert did not offer any plan for
convincing the Arab Group and NAM members of the Security
Council to wait until mid-July, however. Furthermore, French
expert Nicolas Kassianides said on July 2 that Paris had
still not issued instructions authorizing him to formally
share with USUN the amendments Ripert described to Amb
Khalilzad. According to Kassianides, Paris is concerned that
the draft will leak and France will incur Arab disfavor
because the text moves so far away from a focus on
settlements. He also speculated that Paris may want the
Mission to delay even negotiating a P-3 text until after the
July 13 summit. But Kassianides agreed that if the P-3 are
unable to present an alternate text during the next experts

USUN NEW Y 00000590 002 OF 002


meeting, momentum could shift back in Libya's favor because
other delegations could conclude the P-3 are not serious
about reaching consensus, and the Arabs could decide to put
their draft to a vote.
Khalilzad

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