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Cablegate: Israeli Fm Liberman Visits Denmark

VZCZCXRO5456
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHCP #0526/01 3270702
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230702Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5335
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 9053
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0282
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1316
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0042
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0082
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0120
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0079

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COPENHAGEN 000526

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA, EUR/ERA, EUR/NB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAL IS DA
SUBJECT: ISRAELI FM LIBERMAN VISITS DENMARK

COPENHAGEN 00000526 001.2 OF 002


(U) SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED--NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman visited
Copenhagen November 9-10, but failed to get Denmark's support for
upgrading Israel's relations with the EU. Foreign Minister Per Stig
Moeller and members of the Folketing expressed publicly opposition
to Lieberman's objective of asking Denmark to support upgrading the
EU's cooperation with Israel. At a small dinner attended by
Ambassador Fulton, Liberman stated "we favor a two-state solution"
and "as a settler, I am willing to evacuate if we can get a correct
deal." END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Israeli FM Avigdor Liberman's November 9-10 visit to
Copenhagen did not produce the support he sought from Denmark for
upgrading Israel's relations with the EU:

- FM Moeller stated publicly that the situation in the Mideast had
not "changed in a way that would currently allow for an action plan
from the EU." Moeller added that he hoped "circumstances might soon
change and allow an upgrade in cooperation. If this doesn't happen
before the end of 2009, it's my expectation that the EU will move to
extend the existing action plan."

- The foreign policy spokesman of the largest party in Denmark's
ruling coalition, Soeren Pind, said "settlements are complicating"
Israel's negotiations for enhanced relations with the EU. "In an
attempt to advance the peace process the U.S. has issued a number of
demands to Israel in regards to settlements, and here the EU and
U.S. have common interests. So it's difficult to meet Israel's
desire. And that's coming from a friend of Israel."

- The foreign policy spokesman of Denmark's top opposition party
SDP, Jeppe Kofod, said his party had "three crystal clear"
conditions for upgrading Israel-EU cooperation: "Settlements must
be stopped. The blockade of Gaza must be lifted, and accusations of
Israeli war crimes during the Gaza war, and also crimes committed by
Hamas (sic), must be investigated and prosecuted."

3. (SBU) The Danish People's Party, whose support from outside the
government is indispensable to the ruling coalition, was much more
positive towards Israel. Foreign policy spokesman Soeren Espersen
said "it's simply unacceptable that Denmark doesn't support Israel,
the only democracy in the Middle East. I think that the Danish
Government should take steps within the EU to normalize relations
with the EU, instead of supporting the other regimes in the Middle
East." On settlements, Espersen said "No one knows where the
borders are. We'll only know that after a final peace settlement,
and so Israel's settlements in the so-called Palestinian Territories
cannot be used to punish Israel."

4. (SBU) Israel's Ambassador to Denmark, Arthur Avnon, hosted a
small dinner party for FM Liberman November 9, to which only two
foreign diplomats were invited, the Swedish and US Ambassadors to
Denmark. Prior to his formal remarks, Ambassador Fulton asked
Liberman for his thoughts on what would happen if Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas carried out his threat not to seek
re-election. Liberman called Abbas' announcement a tactic: Abbas
needed to show he is tougher than Hamas, and he is angling for some
concession from Israel.

5. (SBU) Highlights of Liberman's remarks to the dinner company
(in good but not excellent English):

- We must begin again the peace process. Beginning is important.
It is a process - but it needs to begin.

- "We favor a two state solution." Liberman said that it is ironic
that the Jewish state will create a Palestinian state - even though
no Palestinian state has existed historically. "As a settler, I am
willing to evacuate (my settlement) if we can get a correct deal."

- The reason there has been no peace achieved in the Middle East
since the 2000 Camp David talks is that the conflict is not Israel
versus Arabs, but militant Muslims versus others. He pointed to
Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood; Lebanon and Hizbullah; Afghanistan
and the Taliban; Pakistan and also the Taliban; Palestine and Hamas
and Islamic Jihad. The Arab countries "are on the fence" watching
to see who will win - the radical Islamists or the West.

- When we say we must create peace, we mean by peace that it is
essential to have security, stability and prosperity. The mid-term

COPENHAGEN 00000526 002.2 OF 002


is more important than the final agreement. "This is an emotional
conflict - there are so many emotions." There are many conflicts
that have not reached a final agreement (he mentioned the UK and
Argentina over the Falklands; Turkey and Greece over Cyprus), yet
both sides have learned to live with the situation and to understand
to use diplomatic discourse and not weapons.

5. (SBU) Liberman then called on his Deputy Danny Ayalon, who was
Israel's Ambassador to the US 2002-2006. The Deputy FM made the
following points:

- Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Washington, D.C. meeting with
President Obama at the same time, calling for him to get the peace
process restarted. The US is the only one who can talk to the
Palestinians.

- US and Europe are indispensable to continuation of the peace
process.

- Israel has supported the Palestinian Authority. Europe is the
largest supporter of PA. America supports PA. The Arab countries
do not. Saudi Arabia could give billions to PA, but it gives only a
small amount, and it also gives to Hamas.

- Some ask about Syria. If there were peace, Syria would lose
influence. Syria wants to continue to control Lebanon, which brings
lots of revenue to Syria.

- Iran is trying to buy time (while it develops nuclear weapons).
The US has to say "enough is enough" to Iran.

FULTON

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