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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (02/17): President Abbas Says

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7597
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
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RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 5043
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4885
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6373
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UNCLAS JERUSALEM 000288

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STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC
CMC WASHINGTON DC FOR POLAD

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LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS

SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (02/17): President Abbas says
there will not be peace without Jerusalem as the capital of a
Palestinian state

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Main Stories:
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The dailies highlight Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud
Abbas' and Prime Minister Fayyad's separate meetings with the
Austrian Foreign Minister yesterday in Ramallah. Al-Quds quotes
President Abbas saying "settlement activities must be halted before
the resumption of negotiations. There will be no solution or peace
without an Arabic Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian
state." Al-Ayyam quotes Prime Minister Fayyad saying "We allocated
$40 million to develop the Jordan valley area...we're focusing on
developing rural and marginalized areas." Fayyad is also quoted in
Al-Quds saying "supporting the existence and survival of
Palestinians on their land is resistance."

The dailies run front page stories reporting that the Dubai
authorities are questioning two Palestinian suspects in the murder
of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Al-Quds reports that Hamas
retreated from accusing the PA for the murder and is now blaming
Israel. The headline in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida claims that some of the
suspects are in Israel carrying Israeli IDs. Ma'an and Al-Ayyam
report that an Israeli man holding a British passport was shocked to
see his face on the suspects' list. He says his identity was
stolen.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Ma'an report on a number of changes in the PA
cabinet. Ma'an reports that three ministers were fired: Justice
Minister Khashan Ali, Education Minister Lamis Al-Alami, and
Agriculture Minister Ismail Deiq. Reports also note that the current
Minister of Interior, Saeed Abu Ali, was offered the position of
Chief of Staff. Abu Ali denied the existence of such an offer.
Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam report that these changes were not made.

------------
BLOCK QUOTE:
-------------

Hani Habib opines in Al-Ayyam under the title "Moscow's 'Maybe'...
and Tel-Aviv's 'If'" saying: "Secretary of State Clinton arrived in
the Gulf to say that the region should be worried about Iran's
nuclear program. This concern is translated into more US weapons
that the Gulf countries waste their oil money on buying, and the
expansion of US military bases on their lands."

RUBINSTEIN

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