Cablegate: Media Reaction; Annapolis Middle East Peace Conference;
DE RUEHBU #2258/01 3310755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270755Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9769
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002258
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; ANNAPOLIS MIDDLE EAST PEACE CONFERENCE;
ARGENTINA-BRAZIL-CHAVEZ; BRAZILIAN OIL DISCOVERY; 11/26/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend's local international stories are focused on prospects for
success of the upcoming Annapolis Peace Conference; an alleged
attempt by Argentina and Brazil to put Venezuelan Hugo Chavez at
bay; and implications of the discovery of a Brazilian oil field.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "From Jerusalem to Annapolis - the history of the world"
Luis Rosales, on special assignment in Jerusalem for
business-financial "BAE" (11/26) "Tomorrow the long-awaited
international peace conference for the Middle East will be held in
the city of Annapolis... Peace negotiators will attempt to get
closer the parties to a world confrontation whose epicenter is
located in Jerusalem, the historical capital city of the State of
Israel and the Jewish people.
"... Peace negotiators for the region will meet in Annapolis, the
bucolic capital city of the State of Maryland. Finding a solution to
the conflict that has long confronted Palestinians and Israelis is
the basis for reconciliation among civilizations in conflict in the
"... Jerusalem does not envision any fast way out of the conflict.
Skepticism defeats hope. (There have been) so many failed attempts,
so many broken illusions. However, what everyone knows, feels and
perceives in every corner is that no progress will be made on
negotiations among leaders if the Holy City issue is not taken
- "A strategic country"
Marcelo Cantelmi, leading "Clarin's" international editor, opines
(11/25) "The Middle East peace construct is today in ruins, partly
due to the strategy of the US and its ally, Israel, of cutting talks
with countries like Syria (which were blacklisted) and, thereby,
triggering some dangerous isolation.
"Nevertheless, this trend has begun to be reversed although more due
to circumstances of pressure rather than conviction...
"... While the US seemed willing to give too little in exchange for
the opening negotiations, it is considering whether to make a
concession that could become historic. This week, the Middle East
peace conference will be held in Annapolis, near Washington, and the
White House and Israel made a special invitation to Syria. However,
they overlooked Damascus' demand to discuss the 1967 occupation of
the strategic territory of the Golan Heights. Damascus claims (the
Golan Heights) should be returned... based on UN resolutions and
even expressions of support from former President Clinton himself.
"Due to lack of progress on this crucial issue, Syria had decided
not to go to Annapolis. Washington gave signals it could cede in
spite of Israel's reluctance and include the Golan Heights on the
agenda. This could have a double effect. The meeting, that seems to
be doomed to failure, could perhaps bear more fruit than expected.
It could also add some realism - there is no way to achieve peace if
the concrete central problems are not made clear and addressed."
- "Obvious differences and Chavez are included on the
Alcadio Oa, political analyst for leading "Clarin," writes (11/24)
"Among several interpretations, one could see the
Brazilian-Argentine axis created by Cristina Kirchner and Lula as a
way of generating a common strategy in South America. Another
interpretation that is not at odds with the previous one is that the
axis is a way to put Hugo Chavez's ambitions in the region at bay...
"An important detail should not be overlooked. Last Monday, at the
same time the Cristina-Lula summit was taking place, Argentina sold
Venezuela a 500,000-dollar bond.
"With the international market closed to Argentina, Venezuela has
become a crucial source of funding for the country... Then, one
thing is to put Chavez's ambitions at bay and something different is
confronting him. Clearly enough, any regional strategy makes no
sense if Venezuela is left out - even with frequent frictions, the
Brazilian and the Argentine Governments are aware of this fact."
- "Brazil is not flooded with oil"
Santiago O'Donnell, international columnist of left-of-center
"Pagina 12," writes (11/25) "... While the oil field found in Brazil
is the biggest one found since 2000, this does not transform Brazil
into one of the large oil exporters... This means that even though
the discovery is very important for Brazil's development, this does
not affect the world market... It does not change either the
region's balance of power, where Venezuela and Bolivia are still the
heavyweights among energy exporters.
"Basically, South America's energy exports and imports are
approximately for the same amount... - some countries purchase
energy and others export it. If it was a united bloc, like Europe,
South America could afford to be its own supplier in a world in war
for the control of increasingly scarce energy resources...
"As soon as Lula found the oil field, he made two moves, one for
overseas, the other for the region. In the move for abroad, he
immediately suspended bids of the area near the oil field found...
In his move for the region, he suspended a project of joint
exploration with Pdvsa in the Orinoco Strip. According to some
media, Brazil withdrew from the Gasoducto del Sur mega-project but
it has not happened formally, perhaps because the mega-project never
started... Brazil is not flooded with oil but now it has oil. In the
past, it had little. Now it has oil, just when it is becoming more
expensive because it is running out."
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