07MOSCOW3521, MIDDLE EAST: RUSSIAN MFA’S INITIAL REACTION TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3521 2007-07-18 13:42 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6008
PP RUEHDBU RUEHROV
DE RUEHMO #3521 1991342
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181342Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2181
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003521 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2017 
TAGS: PREL KPAL EAID IS RS
SUBJECT: MIDDLE EAST:  RUSSIAN MFA'S INITIAL REACTION TO 
PRESIDENT'S SPEECH 
 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons:  1.4(B/D) 
 
1.  (C)  The MFA's initial, informal reaction to the 
President's July 16 speech on the Middle East was positive, 
with particular GOR interest in the President's call for an 
international meeting on the Middle East.  MFA Deputy 
Director for the Middle East Peace Process Oleg Ozerov told 
us July 17 that he was in the process of writing 
recommendations for the Foreign Minister's use at the July 19 
Quartet meeting, but that the MFA unofficially welcomed the 
President's speech as a "good step in the right direction" 
because it would renew momentum on a peaceful settlement at a 
"difficult moment."  In Ozerov's view, many of the 
initiatives in the speech mirrored Russian views on the steps 
needed to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive settlement. 
 
2.  (C)  Ozerov said the GOR was particularly interested in 
the speech's reference to an international meeting, noting 
Russia's longstanding appeal for an international conference 
on the Middle East.  He said the MFA's understanding was that 
the fall meeting called for in the speech which is to be 
chaired by the Secretary would be a preliminary meeting that 
would energize the parties to pursue serious talks.  He said 
FM Lavrov was likely to seek clarity on the conference idea 
when the Quartet meets on February 19.  Russia continued to 
support enlarging the discussion beyond Israel and the 
Palestinians to include Lebanese and Syrian tracks. 
 
3.  (C)  Ozerov was quick to note that Russia continued to 
differ with the U.S. over the role of Hamas, stressing that 
Moscow would still seek to encourage reconciliation between 
it and Fatah.  He argued that no political settlement would 
be tenable without Hamas.  Key elements needed to move 
discussions with Israel forward -- reform of institutions and 
a reduction in violence -- depended on Hamas' agreement with 
Fatah.  Russia was also concerned about the humanitarian 
situation in Gaza and was weighing how to provide assistance 
without causing further instability or provoking any of the 
parties to the dispute.  Reiterating standard Russian views, 
he argued that moderates in Hamas would push the group in a 
more moderate direction, but acknowledged that for now, more 
radical elements had been emboldened by their success in 
seizing Gaza. 
BURNS

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