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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07AMMAN1672 2007-04-18 13:43:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

GOJ RECEIVES SENIOR ISRAELI VISITORS

Tags:   PREL IS JO 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO9404
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHAM #1672 1081343
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181343Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8171
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L AMMAN 001672 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2017
TAGS: PREL IS JO
SUBJECT: GOJ RECEIVES SENIOR ISRAELI VISITORS

REF: TEL AVIV 1110

Classified By: Ambassador David Hale for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: The back-to-back visits to Jordan this week
of Israel's Foreign Minister and a Knesset delegation are the
first such visits since 2005 that the GOJ publicly
acknowledged. Senior GOJ-GOI consultation, while frequent,
has been mostly behind the scenes in recent years. The GOJ
hopes this week's public visits will build momentum for
regional peace efforts, and also produce progress toward an
agreement on the transfer to Jordan of four Jordanians
currently in Israeli prisons. End summary.



2. (C) Foreign Minister al-Khatib met with Israeli FM Tzipi
Livni at a resort on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea on
April 15. Khatib told Ambassador the two sides compared
notes on recent efforts to revive the Arab peace initiative.
Israeli emboff Jakob Raber told polcouns that Livni urged
Khatib to help ensure that the Arab League peace committee
does not complicate Israeli exchanges with Abu Mazen.



3. (C) Khatib also told Ambassador that he pressed Jordan's
years-long effort to obtain the release of four Jordanians
who are in Israeli prisons for violent acts committed against
Israelis before the signing of the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian
peace treaty. The two sides reportedly agree that the
prisoners, once transferred to the GOJ, would serve eighteen
more months in Jordanian jails. However, according to
Israel's Amman Embassy, Israel needs written Jordanian
assurance on this point, while the GOJ has so far agreed only
to senior-level oral assurances. Israeli Ambassador Rosen
told Ambassador that Livni said she would accelerate a
release, so that it precedes any prisoner release related to
Shalit.



4. (C) Advocates for the prisoners in Jordanian media and
parliament regularly criticize Jordanian ministers for
failing to obtain the prisoners' release. Their transfer
would be a significant coup for the GOJ and for Khatib
personally.

A Knesset Delegation Too


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





5. (C) The speaker of the Israeli parliament (who is
currently acting President) and four other MKs will arrive in
Jordan April 19, according to Israeli EmbOff Raber. The
delegation will meet with King Abdullah and the Prime
Minister, and will visit Petra. As with the FM's visit, this
will be the first Knesset delegation to visit Jordan publicly
in several years. They come at the King's invitation, as part
of his effort to expand Israeli-Arab dialogue on peace. He
met on April 16 with a group of Palestinian peace advocates.

Criticism


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





6. (SBU) As predictably as clockwork, Jordan's professional
associations federation, representing lawyers, engineers,
doctors and others, denounced the Livni visit, and complained
that Jordan obtains little benefit from its peace treaty with
Israel. Jordan's Islamists and others will likely pile on in
coming days, especially after the Knesset delegation's visit
becomes known.

Comment


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





7. (C) Senior Israeli-Jordanian engagement on security
issues and on regional peace efforts is close, but in recent
years has been conducted out of public view, due chiefly to
pressure on the GOJ from a Jordanian public opinion that has
largely soured on the Israel-Jordan peace treaty and the
Islamists who have exploited that public mood to domestic
political gain. The visits signal a welcome return of GOJ
readiness to endure public criticism of its positive
relationship with Israel, and reflect the King's
determination to do what he can to create a climate for
diplomatic progress toward a two-state solution.


Visit Amman's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman/

HALE