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Cablegate: Guidance: Middle East Consultations, February 18

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SENSITIVE SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC IS LE KPAL
SUBJECT: Guidance: Middle East Consultations, February 18

1. (SBU) This is an action request. USUN may draw from
para two elements when making its intervention during
Middle East consultations in the Security Council on
February 18.

2. (U) Begin elements:

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you Under
Secretary-General Pascoe for your briefing.

The United States' commitment to the goal of
comprehensive
peace in the Middle East remains strong and unwavering.
The resumption of negotiations toward a two-state
solution
is the only realistic way forward. We encourage the
international community, especially members of this
Council, to support this goal, and to underscore it
publicly, with the parties, and in their diplomacy with
all states in the region.

Only through good-faith negotiations can the parties
mutually agree on an outcome that 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
and meet Israeli security requirements.

Secretary Clinton consulted with Quartet representative
Tony Blair last week and, as you know, announced that,
consistent with Prime Minister Fayyad's plan for a future
Palestinian state, Blair will intensify his partnership
with Special Envoy Mitchell in support of political
negotiations.

With full support from and coordination with Special
Envoy
Mitchell, Tony Blair will continue to mobilize the
efforts
of the international community: to build support for the
institutional capacity and governance of a future
Palestinian State, including on the rule of law; to
improve freedom of movement and access for Palestinians;
to encourage further private sector investment; and to
bring change in the living conditions of the people in
Gaza.

Also last week, Special Envoy Mitchell consulted with the
Secretary-General on his efforts. He will return to the
region in the near future.

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

All permanent status issues, including the status of
Jerusalem, should be resolved through negotiations. We
disagree with some Israeli actions in Jerusalem affecting
Palestinians in areas such as housing, including the
continuing evictions and demolitions of Palestinian
homes.

At the same time, we call on the Palestinian Authority to
fulfill its Roadmap obligations to ensure security,
reform its institutions of governance, and act decisively
to prevent incitement. In addition, the Palestinian
Authority should continue to take all measures to create
a positive climate for negotiations to end this climate.

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 Resolution 1860 and the 2005 Agreement on Movement
and Access, thus alleviating the hardship and stress that
civilians in Gaza face.

Hamas continues to refuse to accept the Quartet
principles
that are the building blocks of an independent
Palestinian
state: renouncing violence, recognizing Israel, and
accepting previous agreements and obligations, including
the Roadmap. It continues to choose hateful rhetoric and
violence over showing any interest in contributing to
building a future for the Palestinian people.

We remain concerned about Hamas interference with
international efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance
in Gaza, continued arms smuggling, and the launching of
terrorist attacks against Israel. And we call for the
immediate release of Gilad Shalit, abducted and held by
Hamas since 2006.

With respect to the Secretary-General's report on
Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact-
Finding
Mission on the Gaza Conflict, we note that Israel and the
Palestinian Authority are taking steps to investigate
alleged violations. In light of this, additional UN
action is not required, and inappropriate action would be
counter-productive. Hamas is a terrorist organization,
and it has neither the ability nor the willingness to
examine credibly its deliberate and repeated violations
of
humanitarian law.

Let me conclude by turning to the situation to the north.
We call upon all parties to fulfill the provisions of
this
Council's Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701.

We also are concerned by escalating rhetoric by
politicians in the region. As members of the Security
Council, we must lead the way in setting a constructive
example. Bellicose rhetoric by any side will not advance
our shared goal of achieving comprehensive peace in the
Middle East.

End elements.
CLINTON

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