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Cablegate: Fm Frattini On the Mepp, Iraq, and Transatlantic

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ROME 002646

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL IT IS KPAL IZ EU
SUBJECT: FM FRATTINI ON THE MEPP, IRAQ, AND TRANSATLANTIC
RELATIONS


1. SUMMARY: ON JUNE 11, FM FRATTINI GAVE A SPEECH ENTITLED
"NEW SCENARIOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THE PERSIAN GULF, AND
TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS" AT THE CENTER FOR DEFENSE STUDIES IN
ROME. HE URGED THE ISRAELIS AND THE PALESTINIANS TO SEIZE
THE MOMENTUM OF THE AQABA SUMMIT, STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF
REVIVING THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY, AND SPOKE OF THE LONG-TERM
POSSIBILITY OF ISRAEL JOINING THE EU. HE PRAISED THE WORK OF
THE ITALIAN MOD AND MFA IN IRAQ DURING AND AFTER THE MILITARY
INTERVENTION. HE ALSO INVITED THE EU TO RAISE DEFENSE
SPENDING AND COOPERATE WELL WITH THE US TO SOLVE OUR COMMON
PROBLEMS. END SUMMARY.
--------
THE MEPP
--------

2. FRATTINI SAID THAT THE MEPP WILL BE ONE OF ITALY'S HIGHEST
PRIORITIES DURING ITS EU PRESIDENCY (SECOND HALF OF 2003).
PM BERLUSCONI'S DEEP PERSONAL INTEREST IN ADVANCING THE MEPP
IS DERIVED NOT ONLY FROM THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CAUSE BUT IS
ALSO THE PRODUCT OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S PERSONAL COMMITMENT TO
HIS TWO-STATE VISION AND THE STRONG PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL
TIES BETWEEN BERLUSCONI AND BUSH, SAID FRATTINI. THE SHARM
EL SHEIKH AND AQABA SUMMITS CREATED A "WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY"
THAT MUST BE SEIZED IMMEDIATELY, SAID FRATTINI. PM SHARON
MUST CONTINUE DISMANTLING THE ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS, PM ABBAS
MUST SPARE NO EFFORT TO END TERRORISM AND VIOLENCE. FRATTINI
PRAISED THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO SEND THE FIRST GROUP OF
AMERICAN OBSERVERS TO THE REGION, SAYING THAT THE ROADMAP
CANNOT BE CARRIED OUT UNLESS THERE WAS A MONITORING MECHANISM
ON THE GROUND. HE ADDED THAT ITALY, WITH A DEMONSTRATED
EXPERTISE IN MONITORING WORK, STANDS READY TO ASSIST IF
CALLED UPON BY THE US. FRATTINI ALSO INVITED THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ENSURE THAT PALESTINIAN POLICE
FORCES HAVE THE MEANS NECESSARY TO FIGHT TERRORIST GROUPS.

3. THE MARSHALL PLAN: NO DURABLE PEACE IN THE REGION CAN
HAPPEN AS LONG AS THE CURRENT ECONOMIC GAP BETWEEN ISRAELIS
(AVERAGE PER CAPITA INCOME OF $18,000 PER YEAR) AND THE
PALESTINIANS (AVERAGE PER CAPITA INCOME OF $1,400 PER YEAR)
PERSISTS, ARGUED FRATTINI. THAT IS WHY PM BERLUSCONI CAME UP
WITH THE IDEA OF A "MARSHALL PLAN" TO HELP REBUILD THE
PALESTINIAN ECONOMY. AT THE EVIAN SUMMIT, THE G8 DECIDED TO
STUDY SPECIFIC TERMS FOR HELPING THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY.
"TERRORISM CAN NEVER BE JUSTIFIED; BUT IT DOES HAVE REASONS,
AND ECONOMIC DESPERATION IS ONE OF THEM," SAID FRATTINI.

4. ISRAEL AS FUTURE MEMBER OF THE EU: WHEN ASKED TO COMMENT
ON BERLUSCONI'S STATEMENT IN JERUSALEM ON JUNE 9 THAT ISRAEL
SHOULD JOIN THE EU, FRATTINI SAID THAT BERLUSCONI'S STATEMENT
WAS MORE THAN A POLITICAL ONE. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
WAS TRYING TO HELP PALESTINE UNDERGO THE INSTITUTIONAL
REFORMS NEEDED TO BECOME A DEMOCRACY, SO WHY NOT OFFER THE
ONLY REAL DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, ISRAEL, WHICH SHARES
MANY VALUES WITH THE WESTERN WORLD, THE POSSIBILITY OF
JOINING THE EU, ASKED RHETORICALLY FRATTINI. HE THEN SAID
THAT THIS WOULD BE A LONG-TERM PLAN.

----
IRAQ
----

5. FRATTINI PRAISED THE GOI'S ROLE DURING AND AFTER THE IRAQ
MILITARY INTERVENTION. "ITALY WAS NOT NEUTRAL IN THE
CONFLICT, AND WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO SEND HUMANITARIAN
ASSISTANCE AND STABILIZATION FORCES TO IRAQ AFTER THE
MILITARY INTERVENTION. ITALY WANTS TO CONTRIBUTE POLITICALLY
AND MORALLY TO THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF IRAQ," SAID FRATTINI.
HE PRAISED THE "EXEMPLARY COORDINATION" BETWEEN THE ITALIAN
MOD AND MFA WHICH HAS ENABLED, FOR INSTANCE, THE DEPLOYMENT
OF AN ITALIAN FIELD HOSPITAL IN BAGHDAD WHICH HAS TREATED
4,300 PATIENTS IN ITS FIRST MONTH ON THE GROUND.

-----------------------
TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS
-----------------------

6. FRATTINI SAID THAT ITALY HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE
EXCELLENT RELATIONS WITH BOTH THE US AND THE EU. HAVING
COMMON VALUES WITH THE US IS NOT ENOUGH THOUGH, SAID
FRATTINI, WHO INVITED THE EUROPEANS TO TAKE COMMON ACTIONS
WITH THE US IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, THE SPREAD OF
WMD, AND IN THE MEPP. HE ALSO CALLED ON THE EU TO INCREASE
ITS DEFENSE SPENDING TO BECOME "PRODUCERS OF SECURITY" AND
NOT JUST "CONSUMERS OF SECURITY" AND TO LOWER ITS DEPENDENCE
ON THE US. "WE (AMERICANS AND EUROPEANS) WILL REACH OUR
COMMON GOALS BETTER WHEN WE ARE BOTH STRONG AND COOPERATE
WELL TOGETHER," SAID FRATTINI.
SKODON

NNNN
2003ROME02646 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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