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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06ABUDHABI1123 2006-03-22 12:53:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

HAMAS' KHALED MESHAAL VISITS UAE

Tags:   PREL KPAL WE GZ IS AE 
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O 221253Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4125
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0473
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0127
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SIPDIS

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STATE PASS TO NEA/FO, NEA/RA, NEA/IPA, AND NEA/ARPI
NSC PASS TO ABRAMS AND RAMCHAND

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2016
TAGS: PREL KPAL WE GZ IS AE
SUBJECT: HAMAS' KHALED MESHAAL VISITS UAE

REF: ABU DHABI 952

ABU DHABI 00001123 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: AMBASSADOR MICHELE J. SISON, REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) Summary: Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh
Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan received Hamas political chief
Khaled Meshaal March 22. According to Foreign Ministry U/S
Abdullah Rashid al-Noaimi, the UAEG had originally been
reluctant to host Meshaal but decided that it was important
to emphasize to Hamas the need for the new Hamas-led
government to meet its international obligations, adhere to
the Roadmap, and help the Palestinian people improve their
lives. The UAEG also reiterated its support for Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as the UAE's
intent to support the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian
people. End Summary.



2. (C) Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met March 22 with Sheikh
Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, UAE Minister for Presidential
Affairs, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammed
al-Sha'ali. The Emiratis were originally reluctant to
receive Meshaal, MFA U/S Abdullah Rashid al-Noaimi told
Ambassador. Al-Noaimi gave three reasons for the UAE
leadership's decision to receive Meshaal. One, they wanted
to hear what was on Hamas' mind. Two, they wanted to
encourage Hamas to take a more moderate course. Three, they
wanted to enlighten Meshaal on the UAE's support for PA
President Abbas and stress the international community's
demand for the Roadmap to be respected, successful, and "not
a one-sided policy."



3. (C) "We are not in love with Hamas," al-Noaimi told
Ambassador, but "we need to enlighten them, to educate them.
These people don,t have experience in international
politics, just at the community level." The UAE would
continue to support the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian
people, he underscored. Ambassador highlighted USG's
continuing concern for these humanitarian needs and noted
that, as a major donor, the U.S. would look for ways to
ensure that these legitimate needs would be met.



4. (C) Ambassador told al-Noaimi that it was unfortunate that
the visit had provided Meshaal an Abu Dhabi platform from
which to highlight Hamas' refusal to renounce armed
resistance and to decry U.S. policy as "biased." She noted
to al-Noaimi that a Reuters wire story with an Abu Dhabi
dateline quoted Meshaal saying, "Armed resistance is
legitimate." The wire story also included this Meshaal
quote: "So long as there is Israeli occupation in Palestine
and so long as U.S. policy is biased, the so-called terrorism
that the United States fears will escalate because the
mistakes of U.S. foreign policy are pouring oil on fire."
Ambassador emphasized the need for Hamas to disavow violence.



5. (C) The UAE's official news agency announced that Sheikh
Mansour stressed the importance of continuing "political
negotiations" to reach a settlement of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The UAE would continue to
"respect the will of the Palestinian Arab people in
determining their fate, identifying their options and
choosing their government," and voiced the UAE's "full
confidence in and support for efforts by the Palestinian
National Authority in achieving stability and pushing the
Middle East process forward." Sheikh Mansour also stressed
"the importance of remaining on the course of political
negotiations aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive peace
in the region." Ambassador told al-Noaimi that it was
important for Hamas to hear from the UAEG and others in the
region about its responsibilities as the elected government
to help the Palestinian people live in peace, something that
could only be accomplished via a two-state solution.
Al-Noaimi reiterated the UAEG's support for the Roadmap and
the two-state solution.



6. (C) As reported ref A, UAE President Khalifa approved a
$25 million one-time-only transfer to the PA President to pay
salaries. The UAE has provided substantial assistance to the
Palestinian people, through projects via its
semi-governmental organizations, rather than passing cash
directly to the PA. The UAE Red Crescent provided
Palestinians with $88 million in humanitarian assistance from
2000 to 2003. The UAE has built Sheikh Zayed City at a cost
of $62 million, and is building a $100 million housing
complex (Sheikh Khalifa City), both in Gaza. Agence
France-Presse cited Hamas delegate Ezat al-Reshq, who
accompanied Meshaal, as saying that the UAE assured Hamas

ABU DHABI 00001123 002.2 OF 002


that it would "go on providing financial aid to the
Palestinian people and their Hamas-led government." Al-Reshq
also said that the UAE would "continue to sponsor and support
infrastructure projects in the occupied Palestinian
territories."



7. (C) Comment: We will follow up with Foreign Minister
Sheikh Abdullah upon his return to Abu Dhabi regarding a
statement Reuters attributed to al-Reshq that "Hamas received
assurances from our brothers in the UAE that they will
continue political and financial support as well as support
of infrastructure projects in Palestine." End Comment.
SISON