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Cablegate: Pa Formally Requests Observer Status at Wto

VZCZCXRO9087
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1993/01 3081653
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041653Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6570
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001993

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTR, NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR, STATE FOR NEA/FO
AND IPA; EEB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PREL KWBG WTRO KPAL IS
SUBJECT: PA FORMALLY REQUESTS OBSERVER STATUS AT WTO
MINISTERIAL, BILATERAL CONSULTATIONS WITH USTR

REF: A. GENEVA 950
B. GENEVA 961

1. (SBU) Senior Palestinian Authority officials tell us that
the PA formally requested observer status at the November 30
Ministerial Conference in a November 4 letter from PA
Ambassador Khraishi to WTO CG Chairman Ambassador Matus in
Geneva. The letter was delivered before the November 5
deadline for submissions to the General Council agenda. It
notes that the request for observer status at the Ministerial
applies in the event that the General Council does not decide
on the PA's earlier request for formal observer status ahead
of the Ministerial. The text of the PA's letter to
Ambassador Matus follows in paragraph 3.

2. (SBU) Separately, PA Minister of National Economy Hasan
Abu-Libdeh sent a letter to USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk
proposing immediate bilateral consultations in Washington or
Ramallah in advance of the November Ministerial. The text of
Abu-Libdeh's letter to Ambassador Kirk is in paragraph 4.

3. (U) Begin text of Ambassador Khraishi letter to Ambassador
Matus:

Excellency:

In view of the ongoing deliberations among members of the
World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding my Government's
pending request for observer status in the General Council
and its subsidiary bodies, circulated on October 2 as
contained in document (WT/L/770), and without prejudice to
the continue priority accorded to that request, I herewith,
on behalf of Palestine, have the honour to request for
admission as an observer in the Ministerial Conference of the
WTO. This request only applies in the event that the General
Council does not find itself in a position to decide on our
aforementioned request for observer status in the General
Council and its subsidiary bodies in time to allow for
Palestinian participation in the Seventh Session of the
Ministerial Conference to be held in Geneva.

Dr. Ibrahim Khraishi
Ambassador, Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN
and other International Organizations

End text.

3. (U) Begin text of Minister Abu-Libdeh letter to Ambassador
Kirk:

Your Excellency:

On behalf of the Palestinian National Authority, I would like
to thank you and the whole of the USTR team for your serious
engagement on our application for observer status. We
especially appreciate the consultations held between our
delegation and yours at the U.S. Mission in Geneva.

In this regard, I would like to inform you that Palestine
remains committed to securing observer status in the WTO
General Council and its subsidiary bodies, with the goal of
applying for accession in the near future. We believe that
WTO observership and subsequent membership are critical for
our own internal reform and state building efforts as well as
for ensuring that the prospective Palestinian state is able
to provide opportunities for future generations, and to be a
part of the global trading community in order to promote
stability and growth by being part of and adhering to the
rules-based multilateral trading system, embodied in the WTO
agreements.

We appreciate the concerns that your delegation has raised in
our discussions both in Geneva as well as Jerusalem, and
would like to inform you that we are prepared to answer them
in full. In this regard, we would like to propose immediate
bilateral consultations in advance of the November
Ministerial either in Palestine, or in Washington DC. We are
ready for these consultations at anytime and believe it would
be an opportune occasion to get to know each other, and to
start what we hope to be a long and fruitful relationship and
learning experience for both our peoples.

Given that consensus has not been reached on our application
for observer in the General Council, I have written to
Ambassador Matus, Chairman of the General Council, to ask for

JERUSALEM 00001993 002 OF 002


ad hoc observership status for the 7th WTO Ministerial, to be
held November 2009. I trust we can count on your full
support for this request, as we work together aggressively to
secure U.S. support for our goal of observer status in the
General Council.

I thank you again for your understanding and cooperation and
look forward to hearing from you on the start of our
bilateral consultations.

Accept, Your Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest
consideration.

Hasan Abu-Libdeh
Minister

RUBINSTEIN

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