US embassy cable - 04AMMAN1293

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

Identifier: 04AMMAN1293
Wikileaks: View 04AMMAN1293 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2004-02-19 21:10:00
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 001293 
 
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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