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Cablegate: Report On Supporting Democratic Reform and The

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1851/01 2431403
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311403Z AUG 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8904
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001851

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NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE, NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS, NEA/PI
FOR KIRBY/PATTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PGOV PREL KDEM KMPI KPAO IS
SUBJECT: REPORT ON SUPPORTING DEMOCRATIC REFORM AND THE
EXPANSION OF FREEDOMS

REF: A. STATE 88465

B. STATE 108924

1. (SBU) Summary. Post is supporting democratic reform in
the West Bank and Gaza and expansion of Palestinians,
personal freedoms through a daily policy dialogue with the
Palestinian Authority (PA), programmatic support to
Palestinian civil society, and a concerted media campaign.
This report offers highlights and an overview of these
efforts and plans over the last two months as well as plans
to support the upcoming Forum for the Future in December.
End Summary.

High Level Visitors: Public and Private Messages

2. (U) In the last two months, high-level visitors --
including the Secretary, Under Secretary Burns, and Under
Secretary Hughes -- have met with Palestinian governmental

SIPDIS
and civil society leaders. Post has used these visits to
reinforce U.S. support for democratic institutions in a
future Palestinian state and as opportunities to convey this
message publicly. Examples of these efforts include:
- During an August 2 visit, the Secretary delivered a
message of support for a democratic Palestinian state to the
Palestinian President, Prime Minister and full cabinet. At a
press conference to announce the $80 million security sector
reform assistance, the Secretary emphasized this message to
international and local media.
- On August 18, U/S Burns conducted interviews with local
media outlets, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Palestinian
people achieving a democratic state. The interviews received
wide local and international exposure, including rebroadcast
on al-Arabiya.
- On July 24 and 25, U/S Hughes met with the PA Ministers of
Information, Education, Youth and Sports, and the Deputy
Minister of Women,s Affairs to underscore the President,s
message of support for a democratic Palestinian state. U/S
Hughes underscored US support through al-Jazeera and
al-Arabiya interviews, as well as through a news feature
program on a local news network. U/S Hughes reinforced this
message in a speech delivered to leading Palestinian civil
society figures at a Consulate hosted reception.
- On July 19, Senior Coordinator for International Women,s
Issues Bottner met with female Palestinian Ministers and
Deputy Ministers and with judges and lawyers to discuss the
legal status of women and U.S. support for strengthening
women,s political participation in public life.

Programmatic Support

3. (SBU) Post administers and supports wide-ranging Middle
East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and Public Diplomacy
programming that supports the goals of achieving greater
personal freedoms and improved democratic systems. Through
MEPI programming, we are supporting a portfolio of major
programs (totaling more than $13 million in assistance) that
will strengthen political parties, enable the broadcast of
professional and objective news and feature reporting, and
develop an active civil society that advocates for good
governance and critical personal freedoms. In addition, Post
just administered a successful MEPI small grant competition
that will fund six civil society organizations working in
different fields, including: preventing honor crimes,
protecting minorities, rights, and encouraging volunteerism.
Three of this year,s small grants will support NGOs in
particularly underserved areas: Hebron and Gaza.

4. (SBU) These MEPI programs complement a robust public
diplomacy outreach and program campaign on the full range of
issues to support the development of a viable, democratic
Palestinian civil society. These range from visiting speaker
programs and digital video conferences (DVC) with American
speakers on a variety of subjects, including a recent DVC
with AmeriCorps, Susan Stroud that encouraged youth
volunteerism and leadership, to the diverse portfolio of
exchange programs that build the skills, networks, and
exposure of civil society leaders.

Upcoming Plans

5. (SBU) With the formation of a PA government under PM Salam
Fayyad, we have been able to reengage with PA counterparts.
Leading up to the fourth Forum for the Future (FFF), we plan
to engage with the Minister of Justice, the Minister of
Youth, the Minister of Women,s Affairs, and the Minister of
Information on the recommendations of last year,s FFF civil
society dialogues. We will report on these meetings in
separate telegrams in the months ahead.

JERUSALEM 00001851 002 OF 002


DUFFY

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