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Viewing cable 09CAIRO1089, UNDER SECRETARY BURNS' JUNE 7 MEETING WITH ARAB LG

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO1089 2009-06-15 12:12 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO8815
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1089/01 1661230
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151230Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2849
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001089 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NEA FOR FO AND NEA/RA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAL SY LE IZ IR SU IS EG
SUBJECT: UNDER SECRETARY BURNS' JUNE 7 MEETING WITH ARAB LG 
SYG MOUSSA 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Margaret Scobey Reasons: 1.4 (B) and (D)
1.(C) Summary. An upbeat Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa told Under Secretary Burns June 7 that he had "heard something new" in the President's June 4 speech. Moussa said that the President had "put his finger on the right things" (e.g. Israeli settlements), and that the seven main points of the speech constituted a "valid agenda." U/S Burns urged Moussa to press Arab leaders to reciprocate with public messages of their own, especially to articulate the promise of the Arab Peace Initiative (API). Moussa was circumspect, but noted that he had called for a June 17 Arab League ministerial to consider how Arabs can support U.S. peace efforts. He maintained that cessation of Israeli settlement activity was a precondition to any Arab reciprocation. End summary. A HAPPY MOUSSA --------------

2.(C) AL SYG Moussa told visiting Under Secretary Burns June 7 that he had nothing but "high praise" for the President's speech. He said that he did not expect U.S. policy interests in the region to change, but rather that the U.S. would "return to its role as an honest broker" (on the Israeli-Arab conflict). The President's language on Israeli settlements was clear evidence for Moussa that this shift had occurred.

3.(C) Moussa said that he had called for an emergency ministerial meeting June 17 to consider how Arabs can support U.S. peace efforts, as well as discuss the relationship between the West and the Arab world in light of the President's speech. He commended the President's language on violence and extremism, reform, women's issues and regional security. LOOKING FOR CONCRETE STEPS --------------------------

4.(C) Moussa asked the Under Secretary when a more detailed U.S. approach on Middle East peace would emerge. The Under Secretary said the Administration recognizes the sense of urgency, and that Special Envoy Mitchell was returning to the region soon. The Under Secretary urged Moussa to consider what more can be done by Arab leaders to articulate the promise of the API, especially to both the Israeli and Arab publics. Moussa said that the Arab League had already taken steps toward this end, such as publishing the Arab Peace Initiative in Israeli newspapers. "This is the same old game," he said. "What else can we do?" The Under Secretary responded that the President's speech had been a reminder as to what is possible, and that Arab leaders should consider how to respond publicly along the same tone and theme. Moussa agreed, and said that perhaps the time was right for the Arab League Secretariat to consider how to advance the API. THE WEST AND ISLAM -------------------

5.(C) Moussa said that the President's speech had shifted the dialogue from that of confrontation to one of conciliation between the West and Islam. This discourse would affect regional issues such as Lebanon, Iraq and Iranian regional momentum, Moussa said. The Under Secretary urged Moussa to help moderates regain the initiative from extremists. REGIONAL ISSUES ---------------

6.(C) Moussa said that Iraq continued to develop its national army and make some progress on national conciliation. The Under Secretary said that the USG recognizes the constructive role Moussa has played in supporting Iraq's reintegration into the Arab world, and urged him to continue. On Syria, Moussa said that Damascus is waiting for SE Mitchell to make them "part of the game." The Syrians, he assessed, were not optimistic about Israeli PM Netanyahu, but have growing confidence in the intentions of the U.S. Administration. Syria has the potential to help the Israeli-Palestinian track, but Hamas leadership in Damascus remains a significant card for the Syrians to play. Iranian and Lebanese elections are also on the Syrians' minds. Moussa said that he expected the Lebanese election to be very close, and that Iranian President Ahmadinejad would prevail June 12. Moussa warned that the Iranians are very good at stalling, and that the Administration needs to be CAIRO 00001089 002 OF 002 aware of this at it proceeds with its dialogue with Tehran, especially on the nuclear file. SUDAN -----

7.(C) Moussa said that Special Envoy Gration had a good understanding of the situation in Sudan, especially the north-south issue. Sudan, Moussa said, is "so damned complicated," including Darfur, the ICC charges, and the situation in the south. The Under Secretary urged Moussa to support entry of international NGOs to Sudan; Moussa took the point, and commented that U.N. forces had improved their relations with the GOS. Khartoum, meanwhile, had taken, in Moussa's view, positive steps, including adoption of a new penal code.

8.(U) Under Secretary Burns has cleared this message. SCOBEY