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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03THEHAGUE1595 2003-06-20 12:09:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

DUTCH CANDIDATE FOR EU MIDDLE EAST ENVOY

Tags:   PREL EU IS NL PK 
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					  S E C R E T THE HAGUE 001595 

SIPDIS

NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2013
TAGS: PREL EU IS NL PK
SUBJECT: DUTCH CANDIDATE FOR EU MIDDLE EAST ENVOY

Classified By: POL COUNSELOR MARY E. DALY FOR REASONS 1.5 B AND D



1. (U) Noting that Marcel Kurpershoek is one of two
finalists to replace Angel Moratinos, we want to share our
impressions and some biographic details. Kurpershoek
currently is resident in Pakistan, where he serves as Dutch
ambassador to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Previously, he headed the
MFA's middle east bureau. He also has served in Damascus,
Cairo, Riyadh, and Brussels. Kurpershoek is widely respected
for his expertise in the Middle East. He taught at Leiden
University and has published frequently, including a book
based on his experiences living with Bedouins in Saudi
Arabia, and several works on Arab literature.



2. (S/N) In Pol Counselor's last conversation with
Kurpershoek before his departure for Pakistan, Kurpershoek
expressed great sympathy for the Palestinians. Although he
obviously disapproved of terrorism as a political tool, he
cited the very difficult conditions under which Palestinians
live and their hopelessness as naturally leading to
terrorism. Similarly, he was of the opinion that we were
expecting more from Arafat than Arafat could possibly
deliver. The onus, he said, was on PM Sharon to stop
settlements and offer some hope to the Palestinians for a
political settlement. Some of Kupershoek's statements no
doubt were deliberately calibrated to jolt the American pol
counselor. That said, you can assume that if he gets the
post, his bias will be at least slightly toward the
Palestians. The Israeli DCM (protect) in The Hague put it
succinctly, "he has the right curriculum vitae for the job
and the right contacts but I personally would not be happy.
He is not the best on even handedness and is not the Dutchman
the Israeli embassy would like to see in the job." According
to the Israeli DCM, Kurpershoek's contacts with the Israeli
left are particular good. Kurpershoek is allegedly the man
behind the efforts of former FM van Aartsen to start up
"secret talks" in The Hague among Israelis and Palestinians
early in 2002.



3. (S/N) A senior official at the MFA says that the Dutch
government hopes Kurpershoek gets the job in order to
strengthen the Dutch role in EU deliberations on the Middle
East. The Dutch government overall has been a very helpful
voice within the EU for keeping EU policy on the Middle East
in line with that of the U.S. and for ensuring a balanced
approach toward Israel. FM de Hoop Scheffer is considered
"pro-Israel," and the government has successfully stopped
several efforts in parliament to ban the transport of weapons
to Israel via Schiphol.
SOBEL