US embassy cable - 04AMMAN1292

FONMIN MUASHER PUSHES GME, REGIONAL REFORM, AL SUMMIT INITIATIVE ON MEPP

Identifier: 04AMMAN1292
Wikileaks: View 04AMMAN1292 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2004-02-19 20:58:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PREL PGOV AL IZ JO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 001292 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2014 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, AL, IZ, JO 
SUBJECT: FONMIN MUASHER PUSHES GME, REGIONAL REFORM, AL 
SUMMIT INITIATIVE ON MEPP 
 
 
Classified By: Amb. Edward W. Gnehm for reasons 1.5 (b) (d) 
 
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SUMMARY 
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1.  (S)  FonMin Muasher told the Ambassador February 18 that 
Jordan is suggesting that the Arab League endorse a set of 
reform principles that go along with the Greater Middle East 
initiative (GME).  Muasher was supportive but expressed some 
concerns about the GME, hoping that it would not impose ideas 
from outside, try to avoid focusing on Islam as a problem (by 
including too many non-Arab Muslim countries), and include 
the President's vision of a two-state solution to give it 
greater regional credibility.  He also said that Jordan has 
drafted a resolution for the upcoming Arab League (AL) summit 
to push the MEPP forward, and which also addresses many 
Israeli concerns.  He claimed that he has found wide 
acceptance for the resolution among other Arab states. 
Muasher hopes to present the details of these ideas in 
Washington in mid-March before the AL Summit in Tunis at the 
end of that month.  END SUMMARY. 
 
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THE GME AND ARAB REFORM PRINCIPLES 
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2.  (S)  Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher told the Ambassador 
and PolCouns February 18 that he had recently argued to 
Egyptian FonMin Ahmed Maher and Saudi FonMin Prince Saud 
al-Faisal that Arab states must take the GME seriously.  He 
proposed that the Arab League endorse a set of reform 
principles -- including democracy, women's rights, education, 
and other key items -- that all Arab states would agree to 
adopt.  Doing so would give the G-8 and other GME partners 
local momentum and initiatives to support.  Jordan, he said, 
has no problem with reform -- in fact, it is leading reform 
efforts in the region.  However, each country will reform at 
its own pace, and not all will make the swift progress Jordan 
has made.  An AL-endorsed set of reform principles would fit 
with the goals of the GME, give GME ideas greater legitimacy 
in the region, and draw each country toward implementing a 
specific set of reforms, albeit at its own pace. 
 
3.  (S)  Muasher outlined three Jordanian concerns regarding 
the GME.  First, the GME must avoid being seen as imposed 
from outside, and therefore should be structured and 
publicized as a dialogue.  The U.S. and its GME partners 
should work with indigenous reformers and ideas to the extent 
possible.  Second, the GME should avoid steps that will make 
people in the region see it as an attack on Islam.  While it 
makes some sense to include Turkey and Iran in the GME, he 
argued that the inclusion of Pakistan and Afghanistan 
introduces problems from outside the region and will leave 
the impression that GME is focused against Islam and Islamic 
societies.  Third, the GME cannot ignore the 
Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- the single most important 
issue in the Middle East.  Including as part of the GME the 
President's vision of a two state solution to the 
Arab-Israeli dispute would give it greater legitimacy in the 
region and encourage more countries to join and support the 
GME. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
PUSHING A STRONGER AL SUMMIT RESOLUTION RE MEPP 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
4.  (S)  Muasher said that Jordan is developing a draft 
resolution for the Tunis AL Summit in March to reenergize the 
MEPP.  The Jordanian draft, he said, contains four important 
elements to address U.S. and Israeli concerns:  1) a 
condemnation of "bombings" against civilians, 2) support for 
a comprehensive and permanent cease-fire including "all the 
needed security arrangements;" 3) a reiteration of the AL's 
Beirut Summit initiative that lays out in specific terms the 
benefits for Israel; and 4) a call for Israel to accept the 
roadmap without reservations.  Muasher said he had consulted 
with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians, Bahrain, Kuwait, 
and Amre Moussa, and described the general reactions as 
"surprisingly positive."  Bahrain and Kuwait, he claimed, 
promised to push for GCC support for the same substance at 
the upcoming GCC summit.  Muasher said he had not yet shared 
the draft with Syria so the Syrians would not get "a head 
start" in opposing it.  He would let Prince Saud present the 
ideas to Syria. 
 
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MUASHER TO FOLLOW UP ALL OF THIS IN WASHINGTON 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
5.  (S)  Muasher said that he hoped to come to Washington 
March 10-12 -- after the GCC Summit and March 3-4 AL Foreign 
Minister's meeting, but before the March 29-30 AL Summit -- 
to present the set of reform principles he hopes the AL 
FonMins will adopt in Cairo.  He also hopes to present a 
Jordanian reform plan including "specific programs and 
timelines" that Jordan will commit to implementing.  He said 
the Jordanian cabinet should approve this plan in the near 
future.  (Note:  Subsequent to drafting this cable, we 
understand that the FonMin intends to arrive in Washington on 
March 8 and is available for meetings through Friday, March 
12.) 
 
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COMMENT 
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6.  (S)  Muasher will argue to his Arab colleagues that the 
GME idea is gaining strength, and that Arabs should shape its 
content as much as possible by setting forth principles of 
reform themselves and focusing on indigenous reforms (such as 
Jordan's).  By gaining endorsement of these ideas in the 
March AL Summit, he hopes G-8 leaders will endorse these 
regional initiatives rather than presenting ideas entirely 
from outside the region.  Muasher, citing support from the 
King, is equally committed to an AL initiative to bolster the 
MEPP. 
 
Visit Embassy Amman's classified website at 
 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman/ 
 
or access the site through the State Department's SIPRNET 
home page. 
GNEHM 

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