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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV1454 2005-03-11 14:11:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT IN PRESSING ABU

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111411Z Mar 05
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 001454 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/11/2010
TAGS: PREL KWBG IS LE SY GAZA DISENGAGEMENT ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS GOI EXTERNAL
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR URGES RESTRAINT IN PRESSING ABU
MAZEN, ASSAD


Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer for Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)
.



1. (C) Russian Ambassador Gennady Tarasov and the Ambassador
reviewed Israeli-Palestinian progress in implementing the
Sharm al-Sheikh commitments and Syria-Lebanon developments
during a March 11 conversation. In response to the
Ambassador's question about whether Russian Middle East envoy
Kalugin would visit Israel next week as part of the Russian
delegation to the dedication of Israel's new Holocaust
museum, Tarasov said Kalugin was not part of the delegation,
and that he did not know anything about Kalugin's current
activities or plans.



--------------------------


Post-Sharm Progress


--------------------------





2. (C) Tarasov noted Russian concerns that the Israelis and
Palestinians appear to be "stuck" in efforts to transfer
security authority in West Bank cities and in meeting other
Sharm commitments. The GOR, he said, understands the
"predicaments" facing Abu Mazen -- e.g., the prospect of a
strong Hamas showing in July's elections for the Palestinian
Legislative Council -- and wants to avoid putting pressure on
him. The international community should help ensure the
fulfillment of Sharm commitments to bolster Abu Mazen's
position.



3. (C) The Ambassador concurred with Russian concerns, but
stressed that Sharm spoke only to broad outcomes, not to
implementation details. Just as they often have in the past,
the Israelis and Palestinians are now grappling with bridging
differences over details that matter to each side. Sharon,
for example, worries that a terrorist attack resulting from
inadequate security arrangements around an abandoned
checkpoint could derail progress in the overall peace effort.
At the same time, the Ambassador commented, current
differences between the Israelis and Palestinians -- for
example, on the lifting of roadblocks around Jericho --
appear amenable to compromise. Tarasov asked about Gen.
Ward's role in bridging such differences. The Ambassador
replied that, while one of Gen. Ward's mandates was to help
the sides resolve differences on security matters, Gen. Ward
would be careful to avoid letting the sides turn to him too
early and too often. The sides need to try to resolve
differences between themselves, to the extent possible.



--------------------------


Syria-Lebanon


--------------------------





4. (C) The GOR, Tarasov said, shares the international view
that the time has come for Syria to leave Lebanon. Less
clear, he added, is how this should happen "pragmatically."
Too much "frontal pressure" on Syria could lead to a
counter-reaction. SARG officials, Tarasov said, have told
the GOR that they are ready to withdraw immediately from
Lebanon, but need face-saving cover. Tarasov stressed that
the international community must closely monitor the impact
of a Syrian withdrawal on Lebanon. "It's easy to talk about
democracy," he said, but one must account for Hizballah. An
unstable Lebanon would be the worst outcome. Pointing to UN
envoy Larsen's planned visit to Damascus on March 12, Tarasov
said the GOR assesses that the SARG already understands the
international message behind UNSCR 1559. The U.S. concurs
with Russia on the goal of a Syrian withdrawal, the
Ambassador commented, but is not sure that President Assad
appreciates the meaning of 1559 and the need to set forth a
realistic and concrete withdrawal plan.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

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********************************************* ********************
KURTZER