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Cablegate: Conversation with Pa On Bid for Wto Observer Status

VZCZCXRO7136
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHGV #0950 3071258
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031258Z NOV 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9904
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 4648
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0906
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 6917
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0001
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 6550
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 8540
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2055
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 1375
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0732
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2020
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 1079
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1827
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS GENEVA 000950

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: CONVERSATION WITH PA ON BID FOR WTO OBSERVER STATUS

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

1.(SBU) Charge had a conversation this morning with PA Ambassador
Khraishi on the PA's bid for observer status in the WTO. Charge
emphasized that the United States continues to have questions
regarding the PA's request for observer status in the WTO General
Council (GC) but that we are willing to sit down with them and
discuss this issue and the criteria for WTO membership, including
possible technical assistance, in detail. He also reiterated that
the United States would support observer status for the PA at the
upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference and reminded Khraishi that for
this to be possible the PA would have to submit a formal request for
it by Thursday. Finally, Charge emphasized that the PA needed to
engage directly with Israel on these issues.

2. (SBU) Khraishi said that his authorities have decided to request
observer status at the MC. However, unlike the last time, they
don't want this to be ad hoc observer status which provides no
security as to future MCs. They see this as a second class status.
With respect to the November GC, he said that the PA would like to
have the issue on the agenda for a non-confrontational discussion
with no expectation of a decision. He thought that he could
convince his allies to follow this low key path.

3. (SBU) Charge noted that the PA's desire for their observer status
at the MC not to be ad hoc was a new element and that he would have
to consult with his authorities. On the November GC, he expressed
concern that insisting that GC observership be placed on the agenda
would stand in the way of gaining the necessary consensus on MC
observer status. Khraishi seemed to take the point but said that he
would have to consult with others.

4. (SBU) Comment - Accepting the PA's request for MC observer status
at the MC on a non-"ad hoc" basis would be different from what we
did at the last MC, but it would not actually make observer status
at the next MC automatic. The standard practice for non-ad hoc
observers is to grant them observer status at future MCs but that
still have to be confirmed by the GC before each MC, as we just did
in October.

SHARK

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