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Cablegate: More On Pa Bid for Wto Observer Status

VZCZCXRO8716
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHGV #0814/01 2740643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010643Z OCT 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9406
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 4630
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0893
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 6907
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 5721
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 6540
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 8528
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2042
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 1001
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0722
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2008
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 1066
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1813
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GENEVA 000814

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS USTR
TEL AVIV FOR AMB, DCM, AND ECON
USTR FOR CKLEIN, AVENKATARAMAN,SFRANCESKI, MMOWREY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD WTRO ECON PREL KWBG IS
SUBJECT: MORE ON PA BID FOR WTO OBSERVER STATUS

Reftels: (a) Jerusalem 1607 (B) Secstate 99831 (c) Geneva00783

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Recent conversations with the Israeli Mission and
other delegations indicate that both the Israelis and the PA think,
or are at least telling people, that we support their respective,
and opposing, positions on the observership issues. The PA has been
busy lobbying other delegations, though probably not as many as they
should, and indications from those delegations we've spoken to are
that no one other than Israel would oppose their bid. There is also
sensitivity among many we've spoken with about the need to handle
this issue with care. However, it is not clear that this
sensitivity applies to all of the countries in the region.
Meanwhile, the PA did not file their actual request for observership
as they said they would do this past Monday and now they are
indicating that they will do so this coming Monday. The agenda for
the October General Council closes next Friday. End summary.

2. (SBU) Yesterday evening the Israeli Mission advised the Charge
that they now have instructions to oppose the PA's request for
observership both in the case of the General Council and the
Ministerial Conference. They added in passing that they understood
that this was consistent with the U.S. position. The Charge went
over with them the U.S. position as set out in ref B but our Israeli
counterpart said he believed that they had received a different
impression in discussions through other channels. The Israelis will
be meeting with GC Chair today to convey their position.

3. (SBU) In preparation for meeting with Israel, GC Chair Matus
called the Charge this morning to see if it was true, as the PA was
telling him, that the United States has indicated that it would not
stand in the way of a decision in October. Again, the Charge laid
out for him the U.S. stance per Ref. B. Matus asked if we might be
in a position to agree to the request at a Special Session of the GC
that he expects to call sometime in November. Charge responded that
his guidance from DC did not address this contingency as this was
the first we had heard of such a meeting. However, he emphasized
that this question involves both issues of timing and substance.

4. (SBU) Matus also mentioned that he had had a conversation with
the Egyptian Ambassador who: (a) saw this as a political issue; (b)
expects this issue to be on the agenda for the October GC meeting;
and (c) expects there to be a big political push. Matus did not
mention any threat of Egypt or anyone else seeking a vote on the
issue but we would not assume that this possibility has completely
disappeared.

5. (SBU) The PA has been making the rounds but they seem to be
approaching this as one might in the case of a UN issue - talking to
major players and dealing with the rest through regional groups.
However, consensus building in the WTO is more a retail than a
wholesale operation and they have not touched a number of bases that
someone experienced in the WTO culture would have known to have
touched. This is unlikely to translate into those that have been
ignored opposing the bid but it does help make the case that they
have not done enough to expect a decision at this juncture.

6. (SBU) Other delegations we spoken to have indicated either that
they support, or do not oppose the PA's request. At the same time,
they realize the sensitivities involved and most want to make sure
this is handled in a way that does not cause a political blow up.
For instance, the EC Ambassador told the Charge that he'd told the
PA that the EC supports their request but that this is not enough.
They need to talk to lots of other delegations.

7. (SBU) The GC Chair will have to decide by the end of the day
next Friday whether to place this issue on the agenda for the
October GC meeting. If he chooses not to, this issue is likely to
be brought up by one or more of the Arab states at that meeting
under "Other Business". Since decisions are not taken under Other
Business this would basically be a discussion item. We expect the
discussion would entail complaints about the Chair not placing the
issue on the agenda and insistence that we deal with the issue

GENEVA 00000814 002 OF 002


promptly and favorably. The November Special Session of the GC is a
complicating factor because it moves the discussion closer to the
more political environment that will develop as we get closer to the
WTO's Ministerial Conference.

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