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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ROME2495 2003-06-05 14:51:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

BERLUSCONI WILL NOT/NOT SEE ARAFAT, PERHAPS ABU

Tags:   PREL PGOV KPAL KWBG IS IT 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 002495 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAL KWBG IS IT
SUBJECT: BERLUSCONI WILL NOT/NOT SEE ARAFAT, PERHAPS ABU
MAZEN -- BUT BRIBERY TRIAL IS INFLUENCING TRAVEL PLANS

REF: A. ROME 1910

B. SECSTATE 111481

C. SECSTATE 106646

D. ROME 2284

CLASSIFIED BY: POLITICAL MINISTER COUNSELOR
THOMAS COUNTRYMAN FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)



1. (C) ACCORDING TO OUR SOURCES IN THE PM'S OFFICE, THE MFA,
AND THE EMBASSY OF ISRAEL, PM BERLUSCONI WILL VISIT ISRAEL
JUNE 9 WHERE HE WILL MEET WITH PM SHARON AND POSSIBLY
PRESIDENT KATSAV. BERLUSCONI'S ADVISERS CONTINUE TO ASSURE
THAT HE WILL NOT/NOT SEE ARAFAT.



2. (C) ISRAELI AMBASSADOR GOL TOLD AMBASSADOR SEMBLER ON
JUNE 4 THAT BERLUSCONI PLANNED TO EXTEND HIS MIDDLE EAST
TRIP, CONTINUING TO EGYPT AND JORDAN, THEN RETURNING TO
"ISRAEL" (SIC) TO VISIT ABU MAZEN. POLMIN CHECKED THIS
INFORMATION WITH PAOLO DIONISI, ONE OF THE PM'S DIPLOMATIC
ADVISERS, IN A JUNE 5 LUNCH. DIONISI SAID IT WAS LIKELY THAT
BERLUSCONI WOULD PREFER TO BE IN EGYPT, RATHER THAN IN ITALY,
ON JUNE 11, BUT THERE WOULD BE NO ADVANCE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE
PM'S TRAVEL PLANS.



3. (C) COMMENT: WE NOTE THAT JUNE 11 WAS THE FIRST
AVAILABLE DATE BERLUSCONI'S LAWYERS HAD CONFIRMED THE PM
COULD PARTICIPATE IN THE ONGOING JUDICIAL BRIBERY TRIAL
AGAINST HIM (REF D). IF THE PM IS TRAVELING IN HIS OFFICIAL
CAPACITY ON THAT DATE, IT WOULD CONVENIENTLY ALLOW TIME FOR
FINAL PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO SUSPEND TRIALS AGAINST
ITALY'S FIVE HIGHEST OFFICIALS BEFORE ANOTHER HEARING IN
BERLUSCONI'S CASE. THE "LODO MACCANICO" PASSED THE ITALIAN
SENATE ON JUNE 5; THE GOI HAS SAID IT WILL BE FINALLY PASSED
BEFORE JUNE 21. (FURTHER DETAILS SEPTEL)
SKODON

NNNN
2003ROME02495 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL