wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02VATICAN3503 2002-07-15 15:01:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

(C) VATICAN SEES ARAFAT'S MARGINALIZATION AS ROAD

Tags:   IS PGOV PHUM PREL VT 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (C) SUMMARY: VATICAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER MIGLIORE
TOLD DCM JULY 12 THAT USG MARGINALIZATION OF ARAFAT WILL
LIKELY EMPOWER HAMAS AND THEREBY JUSTIFY ISRAEL PM SHARON'S
PLAN TO SEEK A MILITARY SOLUTION. THE VATICAN BELIEVES
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03503 151458Z
ARAFAT'S PRESENCE CAN STILL LIMIT HAMAS' APPEAL. ACCORDING TO
MIGLIORE, THE VATICAN SUPPORTS AN INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING
FORCE FOR THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, AND WOULD SEEK A SEAT
AT ANY INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST.
END SUMMARY.



2. (C) DURING INCOMING DCM'S JULY 12 COURTESY CALL ON
VATICAN DFM CELESTINO MIGLIORE, MIGLIORE RAISED HIS CONCERN
AT USG POLICY CALLING FOR NEW LEADERSHIP OF THE PALESTINIAN
AUTHORITY. MIGLIORE SAID THE ISRAEL/PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
REMAINS OF GREAT CONCERN TO THE HOLY SEE, WHICH WISHES TO SEE
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CONVENED AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE.
WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING ARAFAT'S SHORTCOMINGS. HE AVERRED THAT
ARAFAT REMAINS A USEFUL RALLYING SYMBOL FOR PALESTINIANS. TO
MOVE HIM OUT NOW WOULD ONLY PAVE THE WAY FOR MORE RADICAL
ELEMENTS SUCH AS HAMAS, HE PREDICTED. DRAWING THE THREAD OUT
FURTHER, MIGLIORE SAID MARGINALIZING ARAFAT WOULD BE A "GIFT
TO SHARON," WHO WOULD THEN BE FREE TO PURSUE THE MILITARY
CAMPAIGN THAT THE HOLY SEE BELIEVES HE HAS WANTED ALL ALONG
-- AND SOMETHING THE HOLY SEE CATEGORICALLY REJECTS.



3. (C) MIGLIORE RECALLED THAT SECRETARY POWELL TOLD VATICAN
PM EQUIVALENT CARDINAL SODANO DURING THE PRESIDENT'S JUNE
VATICAN VISIT THAT THERE WAS NO CURRENT PLANNING FOR A
CONFERENCE TO EXPLORE WAYS TO MOVE THE PEACE PROCESS FORWARD.
MIGLIORE UNDERSCORED THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING IDEAS FOR
MOVING THE PROCESS FORWARD. HE SAID THE HOLY SEE HAS ITS OWN
IDEAS, BUT NO PLAN AS SUCH, OTHER THAN ITS "CLEAR AND
SPECIFIC POLICY OF SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION FOR
THE HOLY PLACES IN JERUSALEM." HE DID REMIND US OF THE HOLY
SEE'S STANDING SUPPORT FOR AN INTERNATIONAL INTER-POSITIONAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03503 151458Z
FORCE TO STOP THE VIOLENCE, AND NOW ITS STRONG INTEREST IN AN
OBSERVER ROLE IN ANY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE MEPP.



4. (C) COMMENT: THE LEITMOTIF OF HOLY SEE FOREIGN POLICY
IS DEFENSE OF THE HUMAN PERSON THROUGH PEACE, DIALOGUE, AND
SOLIDARITY. THE VATICAN IS FEARFUL THAT THE PACE AND LEVEL
OF VIOLENCE IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES HAS
DULLED PEOPLES' SENSES, AND THAT VIOLENCE WILL TURN WORSE
BEFORE IT EASES (IN FACT, FM TAURAN EXPRESSED THESE FEARS TO
US WHEN THE CURRENT INTIFADA BEGAN IN LATE 2000). ARAFAT, AS
DIFFICULT AS HE IS, HAS BEEN A REGULAR VISITOR AT THE HOLY
SEE AND IS SOMEONE THE VATICAN FEELS IT CAN WORK WITH TO
PROTECT THE CHRISTIAN HOLY SITES. THE VATICAN NOW SEES ITS
INTERESTS THREATENED EVER MORE BY A POSSIBLE TURN AMONG
PALESTINIANS TO ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST LEADERSHIP IF ARAFAT
GOES.
HARDT

CONFIDENTIAL

>


2002VATICA03503 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL