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Cablegate: Consultation On Pa Bid for Wto Observer Status

VZCZCXRO6348
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHGV #0862 2820838
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090838Z OCT 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9622
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 4635
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0898
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 6912
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 5726
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 6545
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 8535
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2047
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 1195
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0727
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2013
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 1071
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1822
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS GENEVA 000862

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: CONSULTATION ON PA BID FOR WTO OBSERVER STATUS

Reftels: (a) Jerusalem 1607 (B) Secstate 99831 (c) Geneva00783
(d) Tel Aviv 02166 (e) Geneva 00839

1.(SBU) SUMMARY - This morning's consultation on the PA bid for
observer status in the WTO General Council (GC) went well. No one
questioned GC Chair Matus's intention not to place this issue of the
agenda for the October General Council meeting and the discussion
was short and low key. It appears that we will not have problems at
the October GC meeting, although it is still possible that Egypt, or
someone else from the region, could raise the issue under other
business to make a plea for prompt and positive consideration. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) Matus opened the discussion by recalling that he had
received the PA's request on Monday. He had consulted with a number
of countries so far but most did not have formal instructions from
capital. While the PA was hoping for action at the October GC,
Matus said there simply is not enough time for the necessary
consultations before the agenda closes. At this stage he plans to
continue consulting. He noted that it is traditional for the Chair
to place issues such as this on the GC agenda if he believes the
issue is ready for conclusion. If he finds a consensus in
sufficient time, he said he would place this issue on the November
GC agenda. He said that when he consults with Members he is hoping
for concrete responses stating either yes, or no with an explanation
of why the Member concerned does not see the PA as meeting the
necessary criteria.

3. (SBU) After an awkward silence, Egypt took the floor to say that
they strongly support the PA's request and hope that all Members
will do the same. They said that they have spoken to many
delegations who all expressed support. They said that they, and the
other Members of the Arab Group, will continue to talk to other
dels, noting that PA observer status would be good for their
development and the institution. (Note - while there were quite a
number of Ambassadors at the meeting, Egypt was represented at a
more junior level.)

4. (SBU) Qatar, with some stage queues from Egypt, spoke on behalf
of the Arab Group. They said that the Arab Group supports Egypt.
The Group does not want to make a political issue of this and they
recalled that they had not objected when a member of the Israeli
delegation had been selected to Chair a WTO Committee. (Comment -
actually they did object behind the scenes but were pushed back by
the Chair of the Committee on Trade in Goods and the DG.) They said
that acceptance of the PA's request was important to peace in their
region.

5. (SBU) Matus noted that all appeared to be in agreement that we
will not place this issue on the October GC meeting and said he
would start consultations next week.

6. (SBU) We seem to be in good shape for the October GC meeting.
It's possible that Egypt, or someone else, will raise this under
Other Business to make a pitch for the PA request but this would not
be likely to result in a confrontational discussion. However, time
was on our side this time around. The November GC meeting is likely
to present more of a challenge.

SHARK

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