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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04AMMAN581 2004-01-22 15:44:00 SECRET Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

MUASHER ON ARAB INITIATIVE, TUNIS SUMMIT,

Tags:   PREL KPAL IS EG SA JO 
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					  S E C R E T AMMAN 000581 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2014
TAGS: PREL KPAL IS EG SA JO
SUBJECT: MUASHER ON ARAB INITIATIVE, TUNIS SUMMIT,
PALESTINIAN PARALYSIS


Classified By: Amb. Edward W. Gnehm for reasons 1.5 (b) (d)

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SUMMARY
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1. (S) FonMin Muasher told the Ambassador that he is trying
to revive the Arab initiative for the upcoming Arab summit in
Tunis and wants to add an element of public diplomacy
outreach to Israelis, but has found little interest from the
Saudis or Egyptians in moving in this direction. He plans
follow up trips to Riyadh and Cairo in the next two weeks.
He expects that many Arab heads of state will not attend the
upcoming Arab summit in Tunis. He described a state of total
paralysis in the Palestinian leadership, and said that PM Abu
Alaa is unable to take any action, and other senior PNA
officials are seeking outside Arab help to get HAMAS/PIJ
agreement to a ceasefire. END SUMMARY.



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LITTLE ENTHUSIASM FOR JORDANIAN MEPP INITIATIVE...


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2. (S) Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher told the Ambassador
and PolCouns January 21 that he is "trying to do something"
to reinvigorate the roadmap. He said Jordan is seeking "a
proactive Arab role" that revives the Arab initiative and
includes direct outreach to the Israeli public. He had
discussed this with the Saudis and Egyptians in Cairo this
week, and planned trips January 26 to Riyadh and the next
week to Cairo to follow up.



3. (S) During discussions on Muasher's ideas, Saudi FonMin
Prince Saud had suggested "registering" the Arab initiative
with the UN. Muasher explained that Jordan would support
such a move, but also wanted to take Arab activities into the
sphere of public diplomacy. Prince Saud, Muasher related,
seemed to indicate that "the Saudis are not ready to deal
directly with Israel." Egyptian FonMin Ahmed Maher was "more
interested, but not too much" in the idea. There was a
general consensus in Cairo that "the situation is terrible
and something has to be done." However, there was no
agreement on what to do.



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... OR THE ARAB SUMMIT IN TUNIS


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4. (S) Muasher said that there is also little enthusiasm
for the upcoming Arab summit in Tunis, and that the Tunisians
are having trouble nailing down the attendance of heads of
state since most leaders are concerned the summit will either
accomplish little or "cause a split." President Ben Ali
apparently is worried lest he host a failed summit "in a
re-election year for him."



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PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP IN "TOTAL PARALYSIS"


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5. (S) Muasher said he had recently spoken separately with
Saeb Erekat and Nabil Shaath: both stressed the need for
outside Arab support to achieve HAMAS/PIJ agreement to a
ceasefire. "The Palestinian leadership is in total
paralysis," Muasher commented. "They don't do much more than
pay salaries." In Ramallah, police patrol in civilian
clothes for fear of being arrested by Israel, and in Nablus
and Janin "local militias," not the PNA, patrol the streets.
Muasher also spoke with EGIS Director Omar Suleiman who said
that Egypt sees little opportunity for progress and is
focused now on preventing further deterioration of the
situation. Suleiman told Muasher that he would try again to
help Abu Alaa get a ceasefire from HAMAS and PIJ, but that he
was not optimistic.



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COMMENT


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6. (S) Muasher was upbeat on his ideas to reinvigorate the
Arab initiative and the roadmap despite the lukewarm
reception in Cairo and Riyadh. We expect he will continue to
plug away in private and take a back seat to the Saudis and
Egyptians in public.

Visit Embassy Amman's classified website at

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman/

or access the site through the State Department's SIPRNET
home page.
GNEHM