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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06RABAT665 2006-04-13 18:51:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

ABU MAZEN VISITS MOROCCO; HAMAS NEXT?

Tags:   MO PGOV PREL 
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1. (C) FM Benaissa invited Ambassador to the MFA the morning
of April 13 to discuss the visit of Palestinian Authority
President Abu Mazen (note: Abu Mazen arrived in Morocco
April 12. King Mohammed held a dinner for him the evening of
April 12 in Casablanca, attended by Arab diplomats and senior
government officials. Abu Mazen is expected to remain in
Morocco until April 15 for additional meetings with PM Jettou
and other GOM officials. End Note). Benaissa said the King
had asked him specifically to inform the US about the King's
discussions with Abu Mazen. Benaissa stressed this was a
working visit, not an official state visit, though the King
had met Abu Mazen at the airport on arrival in Casablanca.
Among other deliverables, Benaissa said the King had offered
to provide the Palestinians a new embassy in Rabat, as the
current one is run down.



2. (C) Benaissa noted there was considerable pressure on
Morocco to receive Hamas Secretary General Khaled Mishal, who
has already visited Tunisia and Algeria. The King had
decided to accept a visit by Mishal but as of this meeting
had not yet extended the invitation, wanting to let the US
know first of his decision. In addition, should the visit
happen, the King wanted to make clear the Hamas official
would be received by Deputy FM Fassi Fihri, not by the King
or Foreign Minister, Benaissa said. This decision was taken
to deny Hamas the credibility that a higher level reception
would convey.



3. (C) Furthermore, Benaissa continued, if Hamas does not
abide by bilateral and international agreements undertaken by
the Palestinian Authority in the past, and if Hamas
maintained its "present positions," Morocco would have no
further contact with Hamas at any level. Benaissa said
Morocco believed it was important for the sake of the
Palestinian people and for peace and stability in the region
to adopt this stance toward Hamas. According to Benaissa,
the King had relayed this message to Benaissa, along with the
instruction to convey it to the US, in front of Abu Mazen,
who had nodded in agreement. Moreover, Benaissa stated, if
Hamas engaged in or perpetrated any act of violence, Morocco
would condemn it and cut all ties with Hamas and not give any
money to the Hamas government.



4. (C) Benaissa said Abu Mazen was not encouraged by the
behavior of Hamas thus far, but said the Israelis did not
help the situation by continuing "daily operations" against
the Palestinians. Abu Mazen hoped the Israelis would calm
things down. Benaissa added that cutting off funding for the
Palestinian Authority hurt the Palestinian Authority and the
Palestinian people. Such strategies had not worked in Sudan
or Iraq, and would not in Iran either.



5. (C) Ambassador asked if there was a proposed date for the
Mishal visit. Benaissa said no, it was not fixed yet.
Ambassador asked whether the Moroccan message to Hamas also
included recognition of Israel's right to exist. Benaissa
said yes, that was part of Morocco's position toward Hamas.



6. (C) Closing, Benaissa said he looked forward to his visit
to Washington in early May and hoped to be able to see the
Secretary.

SIPDIS



7. (U) Post will report further details from Abu Mazen's
visit septel.
******************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
******************************************

Riley