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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07AMMAN4764 2007-12-03 15:05:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

JORDANIANS ON ANNAPOLIS: WE WANT TO BELIEVE

Tags:   PREL KPAL IS JO 
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VZCZCXRO2204
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHAM #4764 3371505
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 031505Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1117
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L AMMAN 004764 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2022
TAGS: PREL KPAL IS JO
SUBJECT: JORDANIANS ON ANNAPOLIS: WE WANT TO BELIEVE

REF: A. AMMAN 4663


B. AMMAN 4732

C. AMMAN 4762

D. AMMAN 4736

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



1. (C) Jordanian reaction to Annapolis has been marked by the
same mix of positive official comments and private cynicism
and hope that was on display in the run-up to the conference
(ref a).



2. (C) Public, official commentary has been positive,
reflecting King Abdullah's strong public support for U.S.
efforts to encourage renewed Israeli-Palestinian
negotiations. All Jordanian media on November 29 gave
prominent coverage to the King's telling visiting Senators
Inouye and Stevens (ref b) that Annapolis was "an essential
and serious jump-start towards ending the Israeli occupation
and establishing a Palestinian state by the end of next
year." He also stressed the importance of maintaining the
momentum created by the conference.



3. (C) In private, senior GOJ officials have hit the same
positive notes, but with an added element of caution and
warning. With Codel Inouye, the King privately shared his
concern that lower-level Palestinian and Israeli officials
lack the trust that exists between PM Olmert and President
Abbas, and elaborated on his definition of "maintaining
momentum:" substantial progress within three months. With
visiting Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (ref c), Chief of the
Royal Court Bassem Awadallah asserted that the Palestinian
cause is the number one issue on the mind of the King, is the
key to hearts and minds throughout the Muslim world, and
would ease many constraints on political development in
Jordan if solved. Awadallah noted the positives of
Annapolis, but cautioned that, if previous such efforts had
gone as hoped, the conflict would have long since been
resolved.



4. (C) The media reaction has been mixed. Looking beyond the
predictable chorus of criticism from strident
anti-normalization forces (e.g., the Islamists' media
organs), there has been a range of reaction in the mainstream
press. Some - particularly columnists in the pro-Palestinian
opposition media - have expressed typical skepticism about
the purpose and outcome, describing it as a major gain for
Israel with little benefit for the Palestinians, in the
absence of real progress on the ground. Others have
acknowledged grudgingly the imperatives that brought the Arab
states to Annapolis, namely, the lack of a viable alternative
to American-supervised negotiations, Syria's desire to reduce
its regional isolation, and Arab moderates' desperate desire
for progress in light of increasing regional radicalism and
expanding Iranian influence. At the same time, there have
been notes of recognition that Annapolis could bring new
energy and forward motion on an issue that preoccupies much
of the Jordanian population. (Ref C contains specific
comments and quotes from Jordanian opinion-makers.)



5. (C) Ibrahim Saif of Jordan University's Center for
Strategic Studies summed up the views of those who, despite
past disappointments, see the issue as too critical to give
up on, telling us that Annapolis was a "good and important
start," particularly the strong Arab representation, but it
is too early to call it a success. What matters, per Saif,
"are the next steps and how far the parties are willing to
go."


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

Hale