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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Middle East

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 008990

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY (FRANK); BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU;
AF/PA; EUR/WE (DEBORAH MENNUTI)/P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA
(BERBENA); INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE
HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR AND PASS USTR/PA
(ANN LUZZATO); USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA; ROME/PA;
BRUSSELS/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - MIDDLE EAST
U.S. DEFICIT TURKEY
PARIS - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2004


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

1. MIDDLE EAST
2. U.S. DEFICIT
3. TURKEY

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S TELEVISED INTERVIEW LAST EVENING ON TURKEY,
HIS "YES, BUT ONLY IF," AND THE OPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH
THE EU IS TODAY'S NUMBER ONE LEAD STORY. INTERVIEWS AND
COMMENTARIES ABOUND, ANALYZING THE PRESIDENT'S EFFECTIVENESS
IN CONVINCING FRENCH OPINION AND PRESENTING THE PROS AND CONS
OF TURKEY AS A EU MEMBER. (SEE PART C)

CENTRIST LA TRIBUNE INTERVIEWS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
REPRESENTATIVE PIERRE LELLOUCHE FOR WHOM "CLOSING THE DOOR TO
TURKEY WOULD BE A POLITICAL MISTAKE." IN POPULAR RIGHT-OF-
CENTER LE PARISIEN, FORMER SOCIALIST JUSTICE MINISTER ROBERT
BADINTER ASKS "WHY IS EU MEMBERSHIP INDISPENSABLE FOR TURKEY
TO ADDRESS ITS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS?"

THE FALLING DOLLAR AND PRESIDENT BUSH'S ECONOMIC POLICIES ARE
FRONT-PAGE STORIES IN THE ECONOMIC PRESS. RIGHT-OF-CENTER LES
ECHOS HEADLINES: "BUSH TRIES TO RALLY ECONOMISTS TO HIS
REFORMS." BUT IN HER EDITORIAL TITLED "VERY DEAR GEORGE",
FRANCOISE CROUIGNEAU CONCLUDES THAT "BUSH'S REFORMS MAY TURN
OUT TO BE TOO COSTLY." (SEE PART C)

LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION CARRIES AN OP-ED ON IRAN PENNED BY
TWO RESEARCHERS FROM THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE, PHILIP GORDON
AND KENNETH POLLACK, WHO CONCLUDE: "THE BEST WAY FOR
WASHINGTON TO PERSUADE IRAN TO GIVE UP ITS NUCLEAR POLICY IS
BY PUTTING AN END TO ITS PRESENT POLICY OF BELITTLING IRAN AND
TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN EFFORTS, EVEN IF THEY ARE FAR FROM
PERFECT."

IN LEFT-OF-CENTER WEEKLY LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, EDITORIALIST
JEAN DANIEL SEES "A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN PALESTINE" THANKS TO
"CHANGES IN THE U.S. APPROACH." (SEE PART C)

IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER WEEKLY LE POINT COLUMNIST BERNARD-HENRI
LEVY PANS THE LATEST BOOK IN THE U.S. ON FRANCO-PHOBIA, "OUR
OLDEST ENEMY," FOR ITS RIDICULOUS CLICHS. HE CONCLUDES IN HIS
REVIEW: "FRANCE AND AMERICA DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS DELIRIUM,
THIS OPPOSITION BETWEEN FRANCO-PHOBIA AND ANTI-AMERICANISM.
FRANCE AND AMERICA CANNOT RESIGN THEMSELVES TO THIS SOMBER
IMITATION OF ONE ANOTHER, WHICH ARE BOTH AS SUICIDAL. THE
BOOK, ITS VULGAR ACCUMULATION OF STEREOTYPES AND ITS SHOW OF
IGNORANCE, IN SHORT, THIS AMERICAN VISION OF `FRENCH IDEOLOGY'
RE-ENFORCES MY BELIEF THAT IT IS EMINENTLY URGENT TO REKINDLE
THE BROKEN RELATIONSHIP (BETWEEN FRANCE AND THE U.S)."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

MIDDLE EAST

"A GLIMMER OF HOPE"
JEAN DANIEL IN LEFT-OF-CENTER WEEKLY LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR
(12/16): "ALTHOUGH PESSIMISTIC IN PRINCIPLE AND SKEPTICAL BY
EXPERIENCE, WE MUST NEVERTHELESS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOMETHING IS
HAPPENING IN JERUSALEM, RAMALLAH AND OTHER MIDDLE EAST
CAPITALS. THE CHANGE OF COURSE IS COMING FROM THE U.S. IT IS
NOT ON THEIR OWN THAT THE ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS HAVE COME
TOGETHER. PRESIDENT BUSH AND HIS ADMINISTRATION HAVE BEEN
SENSITIVE TO THE JOINT APPEALS FROM TONY BLAIR AND PRESIDENT
CHIRAC, WHO SPEAKING AS ONE, EXPLAINED THAT THE U.S. WOULD NOT
BE ABLE TO GET THE ASSISTANCE OF ITS ALLIES IN IRAQ UNLESS IT.
CHANGED ITS PARTISAN APPROACH TO THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT.
ARAFAT'S DEATH HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING. IT HAS GIVEN PRESIDENT
BUSH THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXERCISE CONSIDERABLE PRESSURE ON THE
ISRAELIS. FINALLY, BARGHOUTI'S LAST POLITICAL GESTURE,
ACCEPTING NOT TO RUN IN THE PALESTINIAN PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION., PROVES THAT THE PALESTINIANS ARE TIRED OF A
PERPETUAL WAR WITH NO OUTCOME."
U.S. DEFICIT

"VERY DEAR GEORGE"
FRANCOISE CROUIGNEAU IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LES ECHOS (12/16):
"PRESIDENT BUSH IS TURNING FROM GEO-STRATEGY TO THE AMERICAN
ECONOMY AND GETTING HIS TROOPS TOGETHER TO WIN HIS BATTLE ON
TWO FRONTS: SOCIAL SECURITY REFORMS AND TAX REFORMS. THE COST
OF HIS REFORM PLANS ARE FUELING A CONTROVERSY BOTH IN THE U.S.
AND ABROAD. IN HIS OPEN LETTER TO `DEAR PRESIDENT BUSH,'
VALERY GISCARD D'ESTAING POINTED TO THE DANGERS OF THE U.S.
DEFICIT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM. AFTER THE NEO-
CONS, THE NEO-ECONOMISTS ARE ENTERING THE AMERICAN AND
INTERNATIONAL DEBATE. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. AT HOME,
PRESIDENT BUSH WILL HAVE TO CONVINCE SOME OF THE DEMOCRATS IF
HE DOES NOT WANT ONE DAY TO BE REMEMBERED AS THE `TOO DEAR
GEORGE W. BUSH.'"

TURKEY

"THE OTTOMAN LOGIC"
CLAUDE IMBERT IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER WEEKLY LE POINT (12/16):
"TURKEY WANTS A FULL-BLOWN MARRIAGE OR NOTHING. BUT TODAY WE
MUST COMMIT NEITHER TO AN IRREVOCABLE `YES' NOR TO TURNING OUR
BACKS TO TURKEY. WE SHOULD OFFER TURKEY AN ASSOCIATION.
TURKEY, AS THE GREAT NATION THAT IT IS, DREAMS OF THE WEST BUT
MOVES TOWARDS THE EAST, THE CASPIAN AND THE CAUCASUS. IT IS
STILL HAMPERED BY HEAVY BURDENS, SUCH AS CYPRUS, ARMENIA AND
KURDISTAN. IT IS WISE BOTH FOR EUROPE AND TURKEY TO ALLOW FOR
TIME. IN TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS WE MAY BE IN A POSITION TO
DECIDE. MOSTLY, LET US NOT MAKE A HASTY DECISION THAT WILL
LEAVE NO WAY OUT."

"A DESIRE FOR EUROPE"
PASCAL AUBERT IN CENTRIST LA TRIBUNE (12/16): "TURKEY OR NOT
TURKEY? THE FACT IS THAT EUROPE MADE A PROMISE IT MUST HONOR.
THERE WILL BE NEGOTIATIONS AND AT THE END OF THOSE
NEGOTIATIONS THERE MUST BE THE PERSPECTIVE OF MEMBERSHIP. IT
IS UP TO TURKEY NOW TO PROVE THE DEPTH OF ITS DESIRE FOR
EUROPE AND TO GIVE ALL THE TOKENS EUROPE IS ASKING FOR."

"A DOMESTIC EMERGENCY"
NICOLAS BEYTOUT IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (12/16): "FRANCE
IS CONFUSED AND FEELS THAT THE CHOICES MADE BY ITS PRESIDENT
CARRY RISKS FOR FRANCE. AND THAT WHILE HE HAS BEEN DEALING
WITH AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD, HE HAS SOMEWHAT FORGOTTEN TO DEAL
WITH FRANCE AND ITS CONCERNS. A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR THE
PRESIDENT, BEYOND EUROPE, IS CONCENTRATING ON FRANCE, ITS
REFORMS AND THE PEOPLE OF FRANCE." WOLFF

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