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Cablegate: French Begin Planning for Palestinian Donors'

VZCZCXRO4503
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2258/01 3041706
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311706Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 3654
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9473
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002258

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
GOLDBERGER/SHAMPAINE/BELGRADE; EEB FOR DIBBLE; NSC FOR
ABRAMS/WATERS; TREASURY FOR HARRIS/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON;
BRUSSELS FOR LERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN FR KWBG
SUBJECT: FRENCH BEGIN PLANNING FOR PALESTINIAN DONORS'
CONFERENCE IN DECEMBER


1. (SBU) Summary. Pierre Duquesne, a former French
representative to the IMF, is leading French efforts to
coordinate planning for the December donors' conference in
Paris. Duquesne told the Consul General in Jerusalem on
October 25 that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to hold
the conference on December 17, provided the timing for the
Annapolis meeting did not slip. He delivered a concept paper
and a potential list of participants to the Palestinian
Authority and established a local steering committee in
conjunction with the Ministry of Planning, the office of the
Quartet Representative, and the World Bank. The Consul
General emphasized that the overall objective of December is
to demonstrate international political and tangible financial
support for the Palestinian government, and therefore the
French effort needs to be closely coordinated with the office
of Prime Minister Fayyad. End Summary.

2. (U) Former French representative to the IMF, Ambassador
Pierre Duquesne, was in Jerusalem and Ramallah the week of
October 22, in order to plan for the December donors'
conference in Paris in support of the Palestinian Authority
(PA). Duquesne was joined by Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, MFA
Deputy Director for Economic and Financial Affairs, and
Valerie Montane, Regional Economic Counselor from the French
Mission in Beirut. The three called on the Consul General on
Thursday, October 25 in Jerusalem.

December 17 in Paris:
Following Annapolis and a PA Reform Plan
----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Duquesne said that he has agreed with the PA on a
date for the conference - December 17 - provided that the
U.S.-hosted Annapolis meeting did not slide into the second
week of December, in which case the French will look at a
mid-January fallback date. Duquesne said that while he does
not want the Paris conference "to link to the content of
Annapolis," he thinks the U.S.-sponsored meeting is important
to build momentum for a successful donor event. He said that
President Sarkozy will open the meeting, and stay for a short
period, but will not participate at the same level that
former President Chirac did when the French hosted the
Lebanon donors' conference last year. He expects Foreign
Minister Kouchner to chair the bulk of the meeting.

4. (SBU) The French have given the PA a short concept paper
that includes a potential list of invitees (which Duquesne
described as "more than 70 countries and organizations,
including all the Arabs"). While he admitted that the list
is "too long on paper," the French believe it is politically
necessary to invite a broad range of participants. The
French, with representatives of Quartet Representative Blair,
the Ministry of Planning and the Norwegians have established
a small local steering committee to meet regularly in advance
of the donors' conference. The French expect the PA to
produce a first draft of their reform and development plan by
mid-November, which Blair and the Norwegians would then take
on the road to sell to donors prior to the conference.

5. (SBU) The Consul General told Duquesne that the overall
goal of the conference is a demonstration of tangible
international financial support to the Palestinian Authority,
and in particular to the government of PM Fayyad. Therefore,
it is critical that the French remain in close contact with
the PM and, most importantly, ensure PA ownership of the plan
put forward to donors.

Next Step: Washington Consults
------------------------------

6. (SBU) Duquesne believes the World Bank and IMF should
"informally endorse" the PA's multi-year expenditure
framework prior to the donor event, as a means of warding off
substantive discussion in Paris on the details of the plan.
He admits this will be difficult, given that the PA is not a
member state of either institution. (Note: Local World Bank
staff privately tell ConGen officers that they believe such
an endorsement is unnecessary and will be hard to get. End
Note.) Duquesne said that he would go to Washington in early
November to discuss this idea with the Bank and the Fund, but
also would reach out to the Department to set up appropriate
meetings.

JERUSALEM 00002258 002 OF 002

7. (SBU) Duquesne is also looking to establish a follow-up
mechanism to the donors' conference to ensure that both donor
commitments are PA reform obligations are met. He suggested
that there might be role for Blair in this follow-up. He
also sought PA support for a private sector component to the
conference, but was unsuccessful. PM Fayyad subsequently
told the Consul General he does not support inclusion of
private sector representatives in Paris in December, and
instead suggested a stand-alone private sector event in the
spring. (Comment: Follow-up to Paris will be important, but
existing donor structures - such as the AHLC - and Quartet
Representative Blair should be able to accomplish this
without new mechanisms.)
WALLES

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