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Cablegate: Chile: No Changes Likely in Israel/Palestine Unga

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #1043 3331947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281947Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4003
INFO RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0039
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0406

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001043

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/UNP ANDREW MORRISON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA IS PA CI
SUBJECT: CHILE: NO CHANGES LIKELY IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE UNGA
VOTES

REF: A. STATE 123081
B. SANTIAGO 996

1. (SBU) Poloff delivered ref A demarche Nov. 24 to Patricio
Powell, Acting Head of the MFA's Multilateral Affairs
Department. Powell promised to examine the issue closely and
to forward the points to the MFA's Middle East desk and the
Chilean Mission to the UN. However, Powell held out no hope
of changing Chile's votes--even from a "yes" to an
abstention. Powell noted that Chile's support for the three
institutions in question is well-established Chilean policy.
Decisions about Chile's position on these sensitive issues
have been made by the Foreign Minister and the President,
Powell noted, and there were no political grounds for a
change now. (Note: Ref B includes a recent CODEL's
discussion with President Bachelet on this topic. End Note.)

2. (SBU) Powell emphasized that Chile always endeavors to
support a balanced approach to these contentious Middle East
issues, and will take the same approach with upcoming UN
meetings to be held in Santiago. The Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
is meeting in Santiago Dec. 11-13, in conjunction with
meetings of the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in
Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace. Powell said that the
Chilean government has been very purposeful in avoiding
one-sided anti-Israel meetings. The meeting is being
organized by the UN, not the Chilean government, but to the
extent that the Chilean government has been able to provide
input, it has suggested pro-Israeli voices as well.
Prominent invited guests include former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair; Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of
Jerusalem; Barry Chazan, a well-known Jewish educator; Riyad
al-Malki, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Palestinian
National Authority; PLO Negotiations Affairs Department;
Palestinian Delegation to France; and the Toledo Center for
Peace. The Government of Israel does not participate in
these meetings.

3. (SBU) Chile is home to substantial Jewish and Palestinian
communities, Powell noted, and so must take their views into
account just as the U.S. does when making its foreign policy.
(Note: Five percent of Palestinians living outside the
Middle East live in Chile. Most of these
Palestinian-Chileans are Christians whose ancestors arrived
between 1900 and 1930 and now live in the northern town of
Iquique. More recently, the government has agreed to receive
Palestinian refugees under a plan coordinated with the
Catholic Church and the UN. In addition, there are 10,000 to
17,000 Jews in Chile, 95% of whom live in Santiago. They
tend to be well-integrated into Chilean society, firmly
pro-Israeli, and many are politically or socially prominent.
End Note.)
SIMONS

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