07MOSCOW3803, ABBAS WINS MOSCOW’S SUPPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3803 2007-08-02 14:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9353
OO RUEHDBU RUEHROV
DE RUEHMO #3803 2141434
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021434Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2648
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003803 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2017 
TAGS: PREL KPAL EAID IS RS
SUBJECT: ABBAS WINS MOSCOW'S SUPPORT 
 
Classified By: CDA Daniel A. Russell.  Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.   Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 
Abbas concluded a three-day visit to Moscow with a July 31 
meeting with President Putin, who assured Abbas that the GOR 
would support him as the legitimate leader of the Palestinian 
people.  Abbas also met with FM Lavrov and First DFM Denisov. 
 In the wake of the visit, MFA officials termed the GOR's 
"downgrading" ties with Hamas a "change in accent" rather 
than a fundamental policy change, while affirming that the 
GOR's main goal remained Palestinian unity and the 
transformation of Hamas through dialogue.  End summary. 
 
-------------------- 
Keeping Options Open 
-------------------- 
 
2.  (C) MFA Director for Israeli and Palestine Affairs 
Vladimir Baybakov told us August 1 that the Abbas visit, 
originally planned for June 19-21, but delayed because of the 
Gaza crisis, had aimed to capitalize on the new momentum in 
the Middle East.  Abbas used the visit to "share notes" with 
the GOR on recent events, including Secretary Rice's visit to 
the region.  On July 31, First DFM Andrey Denisov told a 
group of journalists that the GOR had downgraded ties with 
Hamas.  Baybakov explained that the GOR position to retain 
contacts with Hamas remains; Moscow continues to believe that 
all routes to Palestinian unity need to be explored.  The GOR 
will adhere to this principle even when it believes that 
Hamas behavior in the Gaza Strip has been "mistaken," 
Baybakov added.  "We know they are not good guys, but we need 
to invite them to be part of the system," he said. 
 
--------------------- 
What was on the Table 
--------------------- 
 
3.  (C) According to Baybakov, the key issues Abbas discussed 
were: 
 
-- the political situation in the region:  Although Abbas 
maintained that dialogue with Hamas is possible only after 
the pre-"coup" circumstances have been restored, the GOR 
insisted on "stabilization through dialogue" with all 
parties, including Hamas.  In that vein, Baybakov noted, FM 
Lavrov had a phone conversation with Hamas leader Khaled 
Mashaal one week before Abbas's arrival.  Mashaal "pleasantly 
surprised" Lavrov by "recognizing Abbas as the Palestinian 
leader." 
 
-- the U.S.-proposed international conference:  Like Abbas, 
the GOR supports the idea but would like to see concrete 
goals elaborated. 
 
-- GOR assistance to the Palestinian National Authorities 
(PNA):  The GOR plans to send 50 armored personnel vehicles 
on the condition that they not be used in the internal 
Palestinian conflict.  The two parties also discussed two 
helicopters for Palestinians leaders and other additional 
equipment and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to be 
supplied through international organizations. 
 
----------------------- 
Hamas's Turn to Moscow? 
----------------------- 
 
4.  (C) There are no plans for a Hamas visit to Moscow, said 
Baybakov, echoing what First DFM Denisov told journalists 
after the Putin - Abbas meeting.  The GOR will deal with 
Hamas at the Lavrov level, and Putin will not meet with Hamas 
representatives.  The GOR will provide "concrete" support to 
Abbas while keeping its channel of communication with Hamas 
open. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
5.  (C)  Mindful of Syria and Iran's lobbying for Moscow's 
continued engagement with Hamas, Abbas attempted to tip 
Moscow's favor scale toward him.  He seems to have achieved 
what he wanted.  Russia's renewed self-confidence and desire 
to play a role in all major international issues will 
continue to fuel its "balancing act" between the Palestinian 
Authority and Hamas. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

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