Cablegate: Media Reaction; Middle East Summit; Us-Russia Relationship;
DE RUEHBU #1367/01 1991114
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181114Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8659
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001367
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; MIDDLE EAST SUMMIT; US-RUSSIA RELATIONSHIP;
US TREASURY SECRETARY PAULSON'S TRIP TO LATIN AMERICA; 07/17/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key international stories today cover the international conference
on the Middle East called by US President George W. Bush; the
current status of the US-Russia relationship; and implications of US
Treasury Secretary Paulson's trip to Latin America.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Middle East Summit"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (07/17) "Yesterday, US President
George W. Bush called an international conference on the Middle East
that will include Israel, the Palestinian authorities and several of
his Arab neighbors, although he seemed to slam the door on two
decisive actors in the region - Iran and Syria.
"The summit should serve to resume peace negotiations, which were
bogged down during recent years, and also the construction of more
democratic and representative institutions in one of the hottest
areas in the world.
"... US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will preside over the
summit, which will be held before the end of the year. However, its
chances of success are already in doubt. Reportedly, only delegates
of the countries supporting the creation of a Palestinian State will
attend, neither Iran or Syria, which Bush again accused of
"The exclusion of the two most important rivals of the White House
in the region, which were also charged with funding insurgents in
Iraq, brought criticism from the Democratic opposition and
independent experts, who have asked to open high-level diplomatic
dialogue with Damascus and Tehran.
"Bush refuses to hold a direct negotiation with either country,
although he did authorize the release of 190 million dollars for the
Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, in 'humanitarian aid' and
228 million dollars in guarantees for loans. Additionally, he asked
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to expand their aid programs for
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas."
- "The US-Russia, just like in Cold War times"
Leading "Clarin" editorializes (07/17) "The USG and the Russian
government seem to take mutual advantage of a dispute typical of
other times regarding the strategic balance and the renewed arms
race. The US initiative of establishing an anti-missile system in
the Czech Republic and Poland as a protecting shield in space was
received by Moscow as a 'challenge' ('a new Berlin Wall'), which
justifies an arms response focused on the expansion of its military
complex. Russia's response was the announcement of its withdrawal
from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which leaves
Russia free to take unilateral measures.
"Washington's anti-missile defense initiative seems to be a way to
distance itself from the uncertain prospects for the Iraqi war and
raise the stakes on the sidetracked arms race issue...
"In the current international atmosphere of significant strategic
imbalance and asymmetrical conflicts, the risks of WMD have spread
while dodging the control of major powers. The US and powers like
Russia have a common interest in building balance for the sake of
international stability and safety. The dilemma is how to do it
without revisiting the old scheme of the Cold War and the
confrontation between Western and Eastern powers."
- "Not all fun and games"
Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal, English-language
"Buenos Aires Herald," writes (07/17) "Even in a relatively quiet
week there were plenty of upheavals - severe social unrest in Peru,
continuing political violence in Colombia and a possible return of
revolutionary violence in Mexico. Not to mention a regional swing by
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
"... Hank Paulson's regional swing to Brazil, Uruguay and Chile
(with top State Department officials Nicholas Burns and Thomas
Shannon always one day ahead of him) was neither a clear success nor
failure. In Brazil he was dogged by Doha Round issues, especially
farm subsidies (which Washington has just raised from 12 to 17
billion dollars) - biofuels provide a powerful bond between the two
hemispheric giants but also serve as a forceful reminder of the
strength of the US farm lobby and the protective tariffs it slaps on
Brazilian ethanol. Biofuels was also on the agenda in Chile whose
President Michelle Bachelet has other worries (including mine
strikes like Peru). Uruguay with its lively interest in a free trade
agreement with the US was probably the most upbeat part of the
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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