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Cablegate: Guidance: Middle East Consultations, January 27

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC IS KPAL
SUBJECT: Guidance: Middle East Consultations, January 27

1. (U) This is an action request. USUN may draw from
para two elements in making its intervention during
Middle East consultations in the Security Council on
January 27, 2010 and in answering subsequent press
inquiries.

2. (SBU) Begin elements:

I thank Assistant Secretary General Fernandez-Taranco
for his report.

Advancing the cause of comprehensive peace in the Middle
East remains one of the United States' most important
foreign policy endeavors. Our commitment to this goal
is unwavering. Only through negotiations can this
objective be realized, an approach we strongly encourage
the international community to support.

The immediate and unconditional resumption of
negotiations toward a two-state solution is the only
realistic way forward. It is in the interests not only
of the United States but of Israelis, Palestinians, and
all of the region's people.

We call on all members of this Council to underscore
this message publicly and with the parties. Waiting to
resume talks benefits no one. The status quo does
nothing to meet the legitimate needs of Israelis or
Palestinians.

As Secretary of State Clinton has said, we believe that
through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually
agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and
reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and
viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps,
and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and
recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments.
Despite the difficulties and the complex political
circumstances in the region, we are committed to re-
launching negotiations, and to the cause of
comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

National Security Advisor Jones and Special Envoy for
Middle East Peace Mitchell both conducted talks in the
region this month. Senator Mitchell also traveled to
Europe to consult with the Quartet and other key
partners, and high-level Egyptian and Jordanian
delegations made helpful visits to Washington.

The Quartet has long called on all parties to uphold
their Roadmap obligations. A freeze on settlement
activity is an Israeli obligation under the Roadmap, and
U.S. policy on this remains unchanged. We do not accept
the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. That
said, we also believe the settlement moratorium recently
declared by the Israeli Government is a significant step
that could have a meaningful effect on the ground.

U.S. policy on Jerusalem also remains unchanged. The
status of Jerusalem and all other permanent status
issues should be resolved through negotiations. We
disagree with some Israeli actions in Jerusalem
affecting Palestinians in areas such as housing,
including the continuing pattern of evictions and
demolitions of Palestinian homes. Neither party should
take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear
to pre-empt, negotiations.

The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply
important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for
Jews, Muslims and Christians around the world. We
believe that through good faith negotiations the parties
can agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of
both parties for Jerusalem and safeguard its status for
people around the world.

We call on the Palestinian Authority to fulfill its
Roadmap obligations to ensure security, reform its
institutions of governance, and refrain from any acts of
incitement. In this regard, we express our strong
concern that PA officials recently attended a ceremony
commemorating Dalal Mughrabi, who was responsible for a
terrorist attack that claimed the lives of many Israeli
civilians.

We were pleased to see the letter from the Secretary-
General reporting that his staff continues to work
constructively with the Government of Israel on issues
related to the Gaza Board of Inquiry, and to note that
the financial issues have been resolved in a manner
satisfactory to both Israel and the Secretariat.

At the same time, we call on Israel to reopen its border
crossings with Gaza, with appropriate monitoring to
address security concerns. This would allow for greater
movement of people and humanitarian and reconstruction
materials, consistent with UN Security Council
Resolution 1860 and the 2005 Agreement on Movement and
Access, thus alleviating the hardship and stress that
civilians in Gaza face.

Hamas has yet to accept the principles established by
the Quartet that are the building blocks of an
independent Palestinian state--renunciation of violence,
recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous
agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. Nor
has it shown a greater interest in building a future for
the Palestinian people than in its own violence and
rhetoric. We are concerned as well about Hamas
interference with international efforts to deliver
humanitarian assistance in Gaza. And we call for the
immediate release of Israeli Sergeant Gilad Shalit,
abducted and held by Hamas since 2006.

A key component of international support for the
Palestinian people comes via the UN Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Refugees - UNRWA. We thank
Commissioner General Karen AbuZayd for her devoted
service to UNRWA over the past nine years, and welcome
the appointment of Filippo Grandi of Italy to this post,
and of Margot Ellis of the United States to the post of
Deputy Commissioner General.

The United States is UNRWA's largest single donor. In
2009 we provided over $267 million, including over $116
million to the General Fund. Unfortunately, the Fund
still faces severe and chronic shortfalls, estimated at
$140 million for this year.

We appreciate the efforts of donors who have provided
sizeable emergency support, but there is no substitute
for predictable, annual contributions to the General
Fund. As such, we welcome the renewed commitment of the
Arab League, whose members have pledged collectively to
provide UNRWA with no less than 7.8% of its General
Fund. It is imperative that these pledges are
delivered.

On Lebanon, we thank General Graziano for his service
with UNIFIL and welcome General Asarta, who begins his
new assignment tomorrow. We recall as well the
important contribution that all troop contributing
countries are making to this vital effort. We call upon
all parties to fulfill the provisions of Council
resolutions 1559, 1680, and 1701.

[Contingency point on Goldstone: With respect to the
Goldstone report, we look forward to the report the
Secretary General will issue to the General Assembly
next month, including information on the parties'
investigations into alleged abuses.]

End elements.
CLINTON

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