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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV6874 2005-12-10 15:21:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

(C) FM SHALOM DISCUSSES SECURITY CONCERNS,

Tags:   PREL PGOV ECON KWBG IS TS EG LE AG JO IR GOI EXTERNAL ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 006874 

SIPDIS

INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
USMISSION GENEVA
USMISSION UNESCO PARIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2015
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON KWBG IS TS EG LE AG JO IR GOI EXTERNAL ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: (C) FM SHALOM DISCUSSES SECURITY CONCERNS,
RELATIONS WITH MUSLIM COUNTRIES WITH A/S WELCH

Classified By: DCM Gene A. Cretz for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: NEA Assistant Secretary David Welch on
December 8 met with FM Silvan Shalom to discuss regional and
Israeli-Palestinian issues. Shalom expressed concern about
the security situation, claiming that there had been an
increase in infiltrations by terrorists and weapons smuggling
since the opening of the passages. While reiterating U.S.
support for Israel's right to defend itself, A/S Welch
cautioned that retaliation against terrorists should be
calibrated to not adversely affect people who simply want to
trade or travel. Shalom detailed progress in relations with
Muslim countries and asked for U.S. help in promoting such
ties. End summary.



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


Concern about the Security Situation


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





2. (C) NEA Assistant Secretary David Welch met with FM Silvan
Shalom December 8 to discuss regional and Israeli-Palestinian
issues. Shalom expressed concern about the current security
situation. He said that Islamic Jihad continues to fire
rockets into Israel and claimed that the smuggling of weapons
and infiltration from Egypt to Gaza and into Israel has
increased since the opening of the passages. The Netanya
suicide bomber had, he said, entered Israel through one of
the "gates" (in the barrier in the West Bank). Shalom said
that it is difficult to check 100 percent of all vehicles
entering Israel. He noted that he had raised this problem in
meetings with Abbas in Tunis and had warned him that Hamas
could undermine the existence of the Palestinian Authority
(PA). Pointing to the example of Hizballah, Shalom cautioned
that Hamas could become more powerful following the
Palestinian elections. A/S Welch asserted that the GOI's
withdrawal from Gaza presents the Palestinians with a great
opportunity for progress, but, at the same time, the security
of Israel must be maintained. The U.S. publicly and
privately supports Israel's right to defend itself, he said.
A/S Welch noted, however, that in bringing the terrorists to
account, it is important not to punish those people who just
want to trade or travel.



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


Relations with Muslim Countries


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





3. (C) Shalom expressed great satisfaction with his visit to
Tunis and detailed how well his hosts and the other guests
treated him. He pointed out that he shared a table with
heads of state or government from Algeria, Lebanon, Sudan,
and Qatar as well as with Mahmud Abbas, wryly noting that no
one, except Abbas, spoke to him. Shalom noted the progress
in relations between Israel and Arab and Muslim states;
previously, Arab representatives would leave the hall if a
representative of Israel was addressing the gathering, but
not now, he said. Shalom said that currently there are many
opportunities to improve relations with Muslim states. He
said that Israel would like to start a dialogue with former
Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri's son, Lebanon's Druze
community, and other moderates in that country. Shalom said
the new president of Mauritania has said that he wants to
continue relations with Israel.



4. (C) Shalom claimed that Iraqi representatives have
expressed an interest in having relations with Israel.
Israel, however, is very cautious, believing that the time
might be too soon for the Iraqis to take this step without
causing themselves further problems. He asked for U.S. help
in letting Israel know when would be the right time to take
up the Iraqi offer. He said that now would be a good time to
try to upgrade relations with Pakistan, the Gulf countries,
and Morocco. Shalom said that other countries (Jordan)
follow the lead of Egypt, which has good relations with
Israel, Tunisia and Morocco. Shalom asked that the U.S.
influence Morocco to renew an active dialogue with Israel,
which has been sidelined since Hariri's assassination in
February. He said that the GOI is discussing direct flights
to Tunisia and the possibility of doing things in that
country under the umbrella of UNESCO.



5. (C) A/S Welch advised Shalom to proceed carefully with
Lebanon, because the government there is divided and needs to
increase in confidence. He said that King Abdullah of Jordan
seems determined to go ahead with reforms, despite the recent
suicide bombing in Amman. A/S Welch noted that Abdullah had
appointed a minister who formerly served in Israel, and there
had been no reaction from the Arab press. This is a sign of
progress, he said. On Iran, A/S Welch said that the Iranian
president's statements on Israel are galvanizing further
European disdain. He said that the current policy on the
Iran nuclear issue is meeting with some success
diplomatically, but the U.S. remains cautious.



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


MDA, Strategic Dialogue


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





6. (C) Shalom thanked the U.S. for its active support of the
Third Protocol, adoption of which December 7 in Geneva paves
the way for entry of Magen David Adom into the Red Cross/Red
Crescent movement. A/S Welch commented that the strategic
dialogue in Washington had been very successful and said that
the U.S. is taking a serious look at a number of Israeli
proposals, he said.

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