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Cablegate: France-Israel Strategic Dialogue Covers Turkey,

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1461/01 3021757
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 291757Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7443
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1216
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0297
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0400
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 0286
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0384

S E C R E T PARIS 001461

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL IS TU SY FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE-ISRAEL STRATEGIC DIALOGUE COVERS TURKEY,
PEACE PROCESS, SYRIA

REF: PARIS 1418

Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Kathy Allegrone,
Reasons 1.4(b),(d).

1. (S/NF) SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND: French participants in the
second annual Franco-Israeli Strategic Dialogue on October 28
noted profound disquiet among the Israelis about Turkey,
according to Frederic Bereyziat, Senior MFA Desk Officer for
Israel and the Peace Process. Bereyziat told poloff October
29 that the Israelis claimed the Turks have allowed
weapons-related material for Iran's nuclear program to
transit Turkey, with Prime Minister Erdogan's full knowledge.
In the lead up to this Strategic Dialogue, Bereyziat
reported, President Sarkozy called Prime Minister Netanyahu
directly on October 26, to urge him to establish an
independent investigation into the actions of the Israeli
Defense Forces in the Gaza conflict. Sarkozy told Netanyahu
that such a step would decrease pressure on Israel and its
allies stemming from the Goldstone Report, but Netanyahu
responded briskly: "No way." Franco-Israeli discussions on
the status of the peace process stumbled over a "profound
difference on tactics," according to Bereyziat, who also
reported the French intention to introduce a Resolution in
the U.N. General Assembly designed to prevent the Goldstone
Report from returning to the Security Council. Finally,
Bereyziat described a division within the Israeli delegation
about Syria's openness to the west, with some on the
delegation discounting benefits that might accrue to Israel
through the re-launching of negotiations, and others
supporting the French claim that Israel would put Syria in a
bind by suddenly expressing openness to negotiations over the
Golan.

2. (S/NF) BACKGROUND: As notetaker for the Strategic
Dialogue, Bereyziat was in a position to provide a
description of these discussions. When serving as the
Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow in the French MFA, poloff
often met and worked with Bereyziat. He told poloff October
29 that the Strategic Dialogue may have been his last major
meeting for the MFA, as he is leaving the ministry for
personal reasons on November 10. END SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND.

SECOND ANNUAL FRANCO-ISRAELI STRATEGIC DIALOGUE
--------------------------------------------- --

3. (C) Pierre Sellal, Director General of the French MFA,
and Yossi Gal, Director General of the Israeli MFA, led their
respective delegations in the second annual Franco-Israeli
Strategic Dialogue on October 29 in Paris. The "five to six
hours" of talks covered a wide range of issues, including the
peace process, Turkey, Syria, and Iran, according to
Bereyziat. The first bilateral Strategic Dialogue took place
in May 2008, approximately a year after President Sarkozy's
election. No such exchanges took place under President
Chirac, Bereyziat acknowledged, adding that the French now
hope to make it an annual tradition. He said the next
dialogue will take place late next year. (COMMENT: This new
tradition reflects Sarkozy's avowed attempt to create a more
balanced French approach to the Middle East by developing a
closer rapport with Israel. END COMMENT.)

TURKEY
------

4. (S/NF) The French participants in the Strategic Dialogue
noted profound disquiet among the Israelis about Turkey,
Bereyziat said. He reported that the Israelis claimed the
Turks have allowed weapons-related material for Iran's
nuclear program to transit Turkey, with Prime Minister
Erdogan's full knowledge. The French replied that Israel
would need to have clear and concrete proof of such activity
before leveling accusations. The Israelis replied that they
are collecting evidence which they will eventually publicize.
In the meantime, Bereyziat said, the Israelis explained that
they will not take strong public positions condemning what
they perceive as Turkey's recent strategic shift away from
western positions on the peace process, Iran, and Israel's
nuclear program. Erdogan's public comments about Israel's
nuclear weapons had particularly irked the Israelis,
Bereyziat explained, describing them as unprecedented by a
Turkish leader. Moreover, the Israelis blamed the Europeans,
and especially France, for this shift in Turkey's policy.
They said that if Europe had more warmly embraced Turkey,
then the Turks would not be taking steps to earn approval in

the Arab and Muslim world at the expense of Israel. The
French, in response to this accusation, "begged to differ,"
Bereyziat said.

GOLDSTONE REPORT, PEACE PROCESS, UAV TECHNOLOGY
--------------------------------------------- --

5. (C/NF) President Sarkozy called Prime Minister Netanyahu
directly on October 26, Bereyziat reported, to urge him to
establish an independent investigation into the actions of
the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza. Sarkozy informed
Netanyahu that such a step would decrease pressure on Israel
and its allies stemming from the Goldstone Report. Netanyahu
responded briskly: "No way." French officials emphasized
Sarkozy's point again during the Strategic Dialogue,
Bereyziat said, and the Israelis continued to reject his
advice. (See reftel for a description of earlier French
efforts to persuade the Israelis to take this step.)
Separately, to prevent the Goldstone Report from further
impeding the peace process, the French are now contemplating
a pre-emptive approach in the U.N. General Assembly,
according to Bereyziat. With this aim in mind, the GOF may
float a Resolution that would ensure the Goldstone Report
does not return to the Security Council. Bereyziat did not
specify further what this draft Resolution might contain.

6. (C/NF) Franco-Israeli discussions on the status of the
peace process itself resembled a "conversation of the deaf,"
Bereyziat said. "We have a profound disagreement on tactics,
but we obviously agree on the end goal." France has not,
however, taken any "punitive" measures following the Gaza
conflict, Bereyziat explained. He said that whereas other
European countries stopped selling Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV) parts to Israel after the conflict, the French have
continued to do so. And Bereyziat reported that the French
and Israelis did agree on one important point related to the
peace process: Iran continues to play a destructive role in
the region, creating and prolonging conflicts.

SYRIA
-----

7. (S/NF) Bereyziat described a division within the Israeli
delegation about Syria's openness to the west. Some on the
delegation perceived Syrians as intransigent and discounted
the possible benefits that might accrue to Israel through the
re-launching of direct, or even indirect, negotiations.
Others, Bereyziat said, including military representatives
"with Ehud Barak's ear," supported the French claim that
Israel would put Syria in a bind by suddenly expressing
openness to negotiations over the Golan. This group of
Israelis believed Syrian leaders seek to free themselves from
dependence on Iran and to re-engage fully with the west.
RIVKIN

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