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Cablegate: Israeli and Gc Chair On Pa Bid for Wto Observer Status

VZCZCXRO4290
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHGV #0845 2801353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071353Z OCT 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9523
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 4634
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0897
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 6911
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 5725
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 6544
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 8533
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2046
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 1102
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0726
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2012
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 1070
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1821
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS GENEVA 000845

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: ISRAELI AND GC CHAIR ON PA BID FOR WTO OBSERVER STATUS

Reftels: (a) Jerusalem 1607 (B) Secstate 99831 (c) Geneva00783
(d) Tel Aviv 02166 (e) Geneva00839

1. (SBU) Charge was approached by both the Israelis and General
Council (GC) Chair Matus this morning. The Israelis passed on
informal word that they probably will have some flexibility on the
issue of observership in the Ministerial Conference. They also
indicated their intent to be very low key at the GC Chair's
consultation tomorrow. Matus, for his part, confirmed his plans for
the meeting as reported in ref (e) but expressed concern about
Egypt. An Arab source has told him that the Egyptian Ambassador's
approach to this issue is being directed from Cairo, with a
suggestion that his directions are coming from the highest level.
Tomorrow's meeting is for WTO Members only so the PA's more moderate
voice will not be there as counterpoint if the Egyptians choose to
go on the offensive. Matus seemed pretty firm in his intention not
to place this issue on the agenda for the October GC. However, he
is keeping his options open in terms of whether he might mention the
PA request at GC meeting under other business until he sees how
tomorrow's meeting goes.

2. (SBU) We understand that when the Israelis met with Matus they
handed him a note that they asked him not to circulate. (They did
not share the noted with us either.) In the note they argue that the
PA does not meet the criteria for WTO membership as a country or a
customs territory. It goes on to say that they view the PA's
request for GC observership as a violation of the terms of their
bilateral agreements in that it attempts to unilaterally change
their status.

SHARK

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