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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09RIYADH1467 2009-11-04 04:16:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Riyadh
Cable title:  

Saudi Arabia: Special Media Reaction on Secretary

Tags:   PREL KMDR KPAO KDEM PHUM SA 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 RIYADH 001467 

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E.O.: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAO KDEM PHUM SA
SUBJECT: Saudi Arabia: Special Media Reaction on Secretary
Clinton's Statements on Settlements

REF: RIYADH 1423

RIYADH 00001467 001.2 OF 002




1. Summary: Editorial comments have criticized the Secretary for
what they view as a reversal of the U.S. position with her
statements in Israel. Editorial comments have yet to surface
regarding her statements made in Marrakech, other than those noting
her attempts to "soften" her previous statements as she prepared to
face Arab Foreign Ministers in Morocco. Broadcast coverage on Saudi
television has been limited. End summary.



2. Key Headlines:
--Al-Hayat (front page): "Arab and American Moves to Save the Peace
Process. Clinton Has Softened Her Tune Regarding Settlements."

--Al-Riyadh (inside page): "Clinton Has Confirmed the American
Opposition to Expansion of Settlements, No Change. Hillary in
Marrakech: Netanyahu's Offer to Restrict Settlement Is Less Than
Our Wish, but Will Have An Important Effect on Peace."

--Al-Madina (inside page): "Clinton: Our Position, Which Opposes
Israeli Settlements, Has Not Changed."

--ASharq Al-Awsat (front page): "Clinton Moves Away in Marrakech:
What Israel Has Offered Is Less than Our Expectations."

--Arab News (front page): "Clinton Moderates Statement on
Settlements."

--Saudi Gazette (front page): "Clinton Faces Arab Ministers after
Backing Israel."




3. Editorials (chronological from latest):

--Influential Al-Riyadh asked in their headline (11/03), "Has Obama
Failed in his First Test?" The paper editorialized, "Let's adopt a
single position by restoring the issue of peace to the principle of
'land for peace' and halting settlement activities as a firm
position in any peace equation. Let's also, just once, test our
power, which was diminished and has become just a sound without an
echo, even regarding the basics of our major issues... The battle,
according to current proposals, is lost with America and Israel as
well. But, we can make our position firm and continue public
relations with the superpower without breaking off relations or
declaring diplomatic wars... no harm to put off the negotiations for
a year or two if they will yield more benefits."

--Makkah-based conservative Al-Nadwa (11/03), in an editorial
entitled, "In Order not to Reward Netanyahu on his Crimes," urged,
"Our brothers in the Palestinian Authority look forward to a strong
Arab position to back their position in regard to linking
negotiations with Israel with freezing settlements policy... In
order for the Arab's absence in supporting the Palestinians not to
persist, our brothers the Palestinians look forward to an emergency
meeting for Arab foreign ministers to carefully deliberate the issue
in light of the American shift, which Hillary Clinton expressed."

--Conservative Al-Nadwa opined (11/02), "It is regrettable that U.S.
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced that Israel had
presented unprecedented concessions in order to move forward
negotiations with the Palestinians. ... Clinton's statement,
regrettably, departs from the declared U.S. president's policy. ...
In reality, Israel has not presented anything, but Clinton's
statement indicates a big change in the U.S. policy toward the
region, a change that almost endorses the same policies of the
previous administration under the leadership of Bush. ... The Arab
nation must send a strong message through an emergency meeting,
which confirms that peace will not be completed with the existence
of the settlements policy, which was deplored by all, including
President Obama."

--Al-Watan editorialized (11/02), "Is the acknowledgement by U.S.
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, that her mission in the Middle
East has collapsed, indicative of unwillingness by the U.S.
administration to pursue policies announced by President Obama
regarding the Middle East?"

--An editorial in Al-Madina stated (11/02), "President Obama's
address from Cairo University to the Muslim world is, regrettably,
fading away. The ray of hope the speech gave to Arabs and Muslims
is vanishing as well. The current U.S. administration understands
that the most dangerous threat the world could face comes from
hopeless people, desperate from a long absence of justice. If there
were any advice to Obama's administration and to Secretary Clinton

RIYADH 00001467 002.2 OF 002


it would be, 'Do not let desperate people write history with their
blood and the blood of others.'"

--English language daily Arab news editorialized (11/02), "By
refraining from exercising any level of pressure on Tel Aviv to halt
settlements, Washington has, in effect, approved this policy,
leaving Palestinian negotiators with nothing to discuss in any
future peace talks. This is bound to create another wave of tension
amongst Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza. ... It is
Clinton's turn these days. With regard to Israeli settlements, her
expressed goal is to 'narrow the gap to a sufficient degree' so both
sides can agree to resume negotiations. If she cannot fare any
better than Obama and Mitchell, then at least she should try to make
sure things don't slide backward. But her unabashed alliance with
Netanyahu over the settlements widens the gap further and creates a
more precipitous slide."



4. Comments from the Websites:

Al-Riyadh (11/02)

Saleh Rasheed Ibrahim stated, "Palestine is on the doors of victory
and Clinton's bias toward Israel is only a tactic in a battle to
gain her votes for the future -the final word will be for the
president. Palestine's history will be read by future generations as
the crusades were."

Dr. Hashem Al Falali said, "Palestine still leads a troubled path
for peace, not by its own fault - there are people conspiring to
create an impossible situation for peace and stability in a zone
that has suffered occupation, war, property theft, and many other
tragedies"

Al Watan 11/03

Dr. Hashem Al-Falali stated, "This area has reached such a level of
stagnation in the peace process and all efforts have gone with the
wind. The Arab claims have not been listened to by either Israel -
the other part of the Arab-Israeli conflict - nor by major nations
that can put pressure on Israel to go back to peace negotiations and
commit to all charters and covenants.

Khaled Al Hafeer encouraged condemnation in response to the article,
saying, "We will continue condemnation and denunciation with all our
might in spite of the Americans and Israelis. Continue condemnation
for there is nothing new."

ZIADEH#