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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ATHENS2205
2006-08-23 13:28:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Athens
Cable title:  

BAKOYIANNIS HEADS TO MIDDLE EAST IN LISTENING MODE

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PTER  MARR  MOPS  UNSC  GR  CY  IS  LE 
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VZCZCXRO8705
PP RUEHAG
DE RUEHTH #2205 2351328
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231328Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6527
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 0541
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 0163
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0249
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0556
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0175
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 002205 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/23/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER MARR MOPS UNSC GR CY IS LE
SUBJECT: BAKOYIANNIS HEADS TO MIDDLE EAST IN LISTENING MODE

REF: A) ATHENS 2178 B) STATE 137427 C) USUN 1537

Classified By: DCM TOM COUNTRYMAN. REASON: 1.4 (B) AND (D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 002205

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/23/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER MARR MOPS UNSC GR CY IS LE
SUBJECT: BAKOYIANNIS HEADS TO MIDDLE EAST IN LISTENING MODE

REF: A) ATHENS 2178 B) STATE 137427 C) USUN 1537

Classified By: DCM TOM COUNTRYMAN. REASON: 1.4 (B) AND (D).


1. (C) DCM met with Ambassador Kostas Chalastanis, Director
of FM Bakoyannis' cabinet, on August 22 just prior to their
departure for Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. Delivering
ref a points, DCM emphasized that, when Greece assumed the
UNSC presidency in September, it would immediately face a
number of hot-button issues: implementation of UNSC 1701,
UNIFIL staffing and deployment, Iran's nuclear ambitions. A
proposed UNSC Ministerial on the Palestinian issue could
overload the agenda and, in the U.S. view, would do little to
advance the peace process. FM Bakoyannis' visit to the
region would be an important opportunity for Greece to review
the concerns of key players. Chalastanis agreed; a major
reason for the trip was to listen to views from all sides.
For example, Greece was skeptical of the Arab League idea of
a possible UNSC Ministerial on the Palestinian issue and
wanted to hear from the Israelis and others on this point.
Chalastanis stressed that during its UNSC presidency, Greece
would coordinate with the U.S. Chalastanis was also careful
to note that FM Bakoyannis would not meet with any Hamas
officials; she was meeting the Palestinian president in
Amman.


2. (C) Based on Embassy Beirut's excellent reporting, DCM
also described latest developments and urged that Bakoyannis
pay close attention to urgent issues in Lebanon:

-- the need for UNIFIL deployment to the airport and
seaports;
-- LAF's need for equipment, ammo and parts;
-- the need for effective donor coordination.

Chalastanis took careful note of these issues.


3. (C) COMMENT: Chalastanis took careful note of our
points, particularly on implementation of 1701 and UNIFIL
(the GOG's formal decision on the nature of its
participation, reported septel, had just been taken). But
his characterization of FM Bakoyannis' hastily-constructed
visit as an opportunity to listen to regional leaders is only
part of the story. FM Bakoyannis likely sees the upcoming
UNSC presidency as an opportunity to raise her profile with
Greek voters, particularly on events taking place in the
region. However, Bakoyannis clearly recognizes the need to
tread carefully; her decision to avoid a visit to Damascus
has already been criticized by some in the opposition.
RIES