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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05BRASILIA564 2005-03-02 16:45:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Brasilia
Cable title:  

ISRAELI EMBASSY FOCUSED ON ARAB-SOUTH AMERICAN

Tags:   PREL KPAL PTER KSUM XF XM BR 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 000564 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2015
TAGS: PREL KPAL PTER KSUM XF XM BR
SUBJECT: ISRAELI EMBASSY FOCUSED ON ARAB-SOUTH AMERICAN
SUMMIT

REF: A. BRASILIA 432

B. STATE 35934

Classified By: Political Counselor Dennis Hearne, Reasons 1.4 (b
& d)



1. (C) In March 1 discussion with Poloff, Embassy of Israel
Minister Counselor Eitan Surkis reiterated the GOI'S concerns
with Summit preparations and Brazil's Summit-related
diplomacy to date. Although the Embassy had already met with
the head of the Ministry of External Relations' (MRE) Middle
East Division to discuss Summit issues, Surkis liked the U.S.
approach and wanted to meet with MRE's lead on Summit
preparations negotiations Ernesto Rubarth. (Rubarth is
Special Assistant to MRE Political Under-Secretary Vera
Pedrosa who is in overall charge of Summit issues.) A
complicating factor, Surkis acknowledged, was Vera Pedrosa's
lame duck status as Under-Secretary which could make her even
more reluctant than normal to be forthcoming with the
Israelis.



2. (C) Surkis affirmed that the GOI had approached MRE with
an invitation for Foreign Minister Amorim to stop in
Jerusalem during his February Middle East trip. The MRE
response, he noted, was that there was no time on the FM's
schedule which, in any case, was focused entirely on Summit
preparations. However, MRE said nothing about a FM visit to
the Palestinian Authority, a stopover not announced earlier.
When the Embassy discovered in a MRE press release that
Amorim was to visit Ramallah and then reiterated its own
invitation, the Ministry restated the time constraints on the
FM, noting Amorim would only be in Ramallah a few hours. In
reality, Amorim spent almost 24 hours in Ramallah. Surkis
also noted last minute, unnecessary hassles at the Allenby
Bridge caused by Brazilian failure to be forthcoming with the
GOI.



3. (C) Perhaps due to the fallout from Amorim's perceived
snub of Israel hitting a "raw nerve", Surkis felt, the GOB
had gotten the message. (Even Brazilian media pundits had
taken note of the Foreign Minister's failure to demonstrate
diplomatic even-handedness by not visiting Israel.) He
surmised that in order to counter the negative image it had
created for itself with the U.S., Israel, and others, the
Ministry arranged for President Lula to meet next week with
visiting Deputy Prime Minister Olfert. (Foreign Minister
Amorim will be traveling in Africa and unavailable for
Olfert.) In addition, the MRE repeated to the Embassy that
the FM still intended to visit Israel in June/July -- a
visit, Surkis sarcastically noted, that remained very much in
doubt.



4. (C) Regarding the last week's Summit preparation meetings
in Cairo, Israel understood that progress had been made on
economic and social aspects of the draft declaration;
however, the impasse between Arabs and Latins on political
issues remained. Surkis understood that no new text had
emerged from the talks. The next step will be a meeting in
Brasilia for Brazil and Argentina (representing the South
Americans) to brief the other South American countries. A
similar Arab League meeting is also expected.



5. (C) Finally, Surkis took note that the GOB still was
"furious" over the leaked draft declaration and the
Oppenheimer article in the Miami Herald. Smiling wryly, he
observed that perhaps the leak had "served its purpose".



6. (C) Comment: Surkis' comments track closely with our own
understanding of the situation. The MRE, we believe,
underestimated the sensitivities aroused by its somewhat
ham-handed diplomacy, yet are unwilling to acknowledge that
the Summit and Amorim's ill-conceivd visit to the region
could undermine the Middle East peace process at a delicate
and promising moment. Ambassador will deliver ref B points
to MRE Secretary-General Samuel Guimaraes March 2 and will
meet with the President of B'nai Brith of Brazil on March 4.

Danilovich