wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
06RABAT1285 2006-07-05 08:25:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  


pdf how-to read a cable

1. (C) SUMMARY: In a meeting June 29 with visiting DAS
Gordon Gray, Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs Taieb
Fassi Fihri expressed Morocco's concern over recent events in
Gaza, explaining that Israeli actions were "too strong and
extreme" and have complicated Morocco's position. Fassi
Fihri warned against Hamas being marginalized or discredited
too quickly by the international community, arguing that the
international community should accompany the evolution of
Hamas. DAS Gray highlighted key decisions taken by the US
concerning Libya and Libya's reintegration into the
international community. On Iran, Fassi Fihri discussed FM
Benaissa's trip last month to Tehran, noting the clear
message Benaissa delivered to Iran concerning their nuclear
ambitions. END SUMMARY.


Recent Actions Complicating Morocco's Position



2. (C) On June 29, DAS Gordon Gray met with Minister
Delegate for Foreign Affairs Taieb Fassi Fihri to discuss
several regional issues, including recent events in Gaza and
Libya's reintegration into the international community.
Discussions on the Western Sahara reported Ref C. Ambassador
and Poloffs joined DAS Gray, while Fassi Fihri was
accompanied by MFA Director of Bilateral Affairs Youssef
Amrani, MFA Director of American Affairs Salaheddine Tazi,
and MFA Director of UN and International Organizations Nasser
Bourita. Gray thanked Fassi Fihri for the GOM's support of
the Israeli resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (Ref
B). In response, Fassi Fihri explained that Morocco, like
the US, would like to see the first meeting of the Council be
successful and does not want a political issue to derail the
Council's inaugural efforts.

3. (C) While on the topic of Israel, Fassi Fihri seized the
opportunity to express Morocco's concern over recent Israeli
actions in Gaza. Fassi Fihri explained that the destroying
of infrastructure, compounded with the beach air strike were
"too strong and extreme," and will not help in the search for
peace. Turning to Hamas, Fassi Fihri made it clear that
Morocco "is not in love with Hamas," but argued that if Hamas
is marginalized or discredited too quickly by the
international community, then there is a risk of Hamas going
underground only to reemerge in the future as potentially a
more serious problem. Fassi Fihri said he understands that
the West can not talk to Hamas without the recognition of the
three Quartet principles, but argued that the international
community should accompany the evolution of Hamas, similar to
Fatah in the 1960's, for two reasons. First, Hamas is
present and they are here to stay. Second, if political
Hamas is eliminated the result will be fertile ground for
radical elements to rise and take charge of disaffected
members of Hamas.

4. (C) Morocco's position vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine is
very complex, and recent Israeli actions have put Morocco in
a very difficult situation, Fassi Fihri said. Moroccan civil
society and parliament have asked for a strong condemnation
from the GOM, Fassi Fihri explained, but as of the meeting
King Mohammed VI had not yet responded to their requests.
Despite the developments in Gaza, Morocco still believes in
giving dialogue a chance to succeed, Fassi Fihri said. Gray
agreed, and encouraged Morocco, because of our common vision
and goals, to play as constructive of a role as possible in
this context.

5. (C) In the Arab-Israeli context the GOM is repeatedly
asked to answer, both publicly and privately, two overarching
questions, Fassi Fihri said. First, if Israel claims Hamas
is not a viable interlocutor, then should Israel and the
international community not help create a viable interlocutor
in an effort to create a vibrant dialogue? The alternative
to dialogue is defensive measures, as witnessed by recent
actions in Gaza. Second, several political parties, most

RABAT 00001285 002 OF 002

often the Party for Justice and Development (PJD), have asked
if Israeli would accept the same three Quartet principles
that Hamas is being asked to accept? Gray underscored the
dangers posed by either side acting unilaterally, and the
importance of all parties following the Roadmap, while
avoiding actions that could escalate the conflict. Fassi
Fihri added that Morocco finds its conversations with the
Palestinian government very difficult because of its "two
voices," and in this vein he pressed the US and international
community to support Abu Mazen and his vision for peace.


Libya's Reintegration


6. (C) Gray outlined to Fassi Fihri the USG's recent actions
towards Libya, highlighting that by renouncing terrorism and
weapons of mass destruction Libya has taken the necessary
steps to help itself reintegrate into the international
community. Libya's decisions show countries like Iran and
North Korea that similar decisions on their part could lead
to an end of their isolation from the international
community. Fassi Fihri, in response, explained that Morocco
prefers the normalization of relations with its neighbors in
the region and thanked the USG for our efforts on Libya.


Clear Message To Iran


7. (C) Turning to Iran, Fassi Fihri noted that FM Mohamed
Benaissa on his recent trip to Tehran (NB: Benaissa paid an
official visit to Tehran June 18 where he met Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Iranian counterpart.
Ref A) delivered a strong and clear message to the Iranians.
According to Fassi Fihri, FM Benaissa presented the last
international community offer to Iran as an offer that can
not be passed up because it is supported internationally.
Benaissa believes that domestic competition between powers is
creating Tehran's aggressive rhetoric, but is optimistic that
Tehran will clearly understand the challenges that their
nuclear position poses. Describing Iranian President
Ahmadinejad, Fassi Fihri (with help from Ambassador Amrani)
said "he's totally out of context," but hoped that meetings
with Turkey and Saudi Arabia would help the situation. Gray
stressed the importance of Iran hearing the same strong and
clear message from countries outside the P-5 and Europe,
which demonstrates to Tehran that this is an international
concern, not just the West's.

8. (U) Gray has cleared this cable.
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;