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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09AMMAN1287 2009-06-08 10:30:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

JORDAN: PRESIDENT'S SPEECH PROMPTS CALLS FOR

Tags:   PREL KISL KWBG JO 
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VZCZCXRO3302
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHAM #1287 1591030
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081030Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5249
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L AMMAN 001287 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2019
TAGS: PREL KISL KWBG JO
SUBJECT: JORDAN: PRESIDENT'S SPEECH PROMPTS CALLS FOR
CONCRETE ACTION

REF: A. AMMAN 1264

B. AMMAN 1263

C. AMMAN 1261

Classified By: Ambassador R. Stephen Beecroft
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: In the wake of the President's Cairo
speech, Jordanian contacts continue to focus primarily on
language pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The
President's citation of Islamic scriptures and respect for
Islam's cultural contribution throughout history was seen as
a high point of the balanced speech. After the weekend, many
Jordanians are now calling for immediate and concrete actions
to maintain momentum after Cairo. Some contacts believe Arab
countries should also propose new initiatives to further
peace discussions. A small set of detractors allege that the
Cairo speech was deliberately timed to influence elections in
Iran and Lebanon. End Summary.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Focus on Next Steps


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



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





2. (C) Following the weekend, PolOffs engaged with
government and civil society contacts for a more detailed
discussion of the President's June 4 speech in Cairo. There
is speculation about the long-term impact of the speech on
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and debates about whether or
not there truly has been a shift in U.S. policy. Many
believe the speech demonstrated the Administration's "strong
willpower" and the President's "personal interest" in
resolving the conflict. The President's recognition of the
plight of Palestinians was appreciated, although some said
the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza should have been
mentioned directly. This empathy for the Palestinians was
called "the first from an American head of state."



3. (C) However, the speech has also raised expectations and
many are calling for new policy initiatives and concrete
actions. In general, our contacts want more details about
what the speech will mean on the ground, and what it will
mean for the future of America's relationship with Israel.
While they seemed to understand that this was not meant to be
the announcement of any specific plan, interlocutors said
they were left wanting more. However, one referred to the
speech as "the infrastructure for a new era."



4. (C) Discussion arose about not just what the Americans
should do next, but also what concrete steps should be taken
by Arab states. Two religious contacts said that regional
governments needed to internalize the speech's messages and
develop a plan to demonstrate the Arabs' willingness to work
for peace. The President's mention of the Arab Peace
Initiative as a beginning rather than an end left some
government contacts puzzled, but non-governmental (NGO)
contacts saw it as a call to action at all levels of society.

Respect for Islam


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





5. (C) Many of our contacts are talking about the
refreshingly respectful tone about religious practices in
Islam. A civil society leader commented that the recognition
of Islam's history of tolerance struck a positive note and
lent credibility and balance to the speech. Contacts believe
the speech will begin to break down the stereotypes of
America in the Muslim world by using scriptures to
demonstrate points of common agreement.

Conspiracy Theories


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





6. (C) The inevitable crop of conspiracy theories is also
starting to surface. The most prominent holds that the
speech was cynically timed to influence elections in both
Iran and Lebanon, and represents nothing more than a
temporary gesture to pull votes away from Islamists who could
thwart American designs for the region. Others see the
location of the speech as a tacit stamp of approval for the
Egyptian government, and note that there was little criticism
of the host government.
Beecroft