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Viewing cable 09PARIS1461, FRANCE-ISRAEL STRATEGIC DIALOGUE COVERS TURKEY,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PARIS1461 2009-10-29 17:05 2010-11-29 12:12 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Paris
VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1461/01 3021757
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 291757Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7443
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1216
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0297
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0400
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 0286
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0384
S E C R E T PARIS 001461 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL IS TU SY FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE-ISRAEL STRATEGIC DIALOGUE COVERS TURKEY, 
PEACE PROCESS, SYRIA 
 
REF: PARIS 1418 
 
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Kathy Allegrone, 
Reasons 1.4(b),(d). 
 
1.  (S/NF) SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND: French participants in the 
second annual Franco-Israeli Strategic Dialogue on October 28 
noted profound disquiet among the Israelis about Turkey, 
according to Frederic Bereyziat, Senior MFA Desk Officer for 
Israel and the Peace Process.  Bereyziat told poloff October 
29 that the Israelis claimed the Turks have allowed 
weapons-related material for Iran's nuclear program to 
transit Turkey, with Prime Minister Erdogan's full knowledge. 
 In the lead up to this Strategic Dialogue, Bereyziat 
reported, President Sarkozy called Prime Minister Netanyahu 
directly on October 26, to urge him to establish an 
independent investigation into the actions of the Israeli 
Defense Forces in the Gaza conflict.  Sarkozy told Netanyahu 
that such a step would decrease pressure on Israel and its 
allies stemming from the Goldstone Report, but Netanyahu 
responded briskly: "No way."  Franco-Israeli discussions on 
the status of the peace process stumbled over a "profound 
difference on tactics," according to Bereyziat, who also 
reported the French intention to introduce a Resolution in 
the U.N. General Assembly designed to prevent the Goldstone 
Report from returning to the Security Council.  Finally, 
Bereyziat described a division within the Israeli delegation 
about Syria's openness to the west, with some on the 
delegation discounting benefits that might accrue to Israel 
through the re-launching of negotiations, and others 
supporting the French claim that Israel would put Syria in a 
bind by suddenly expressing openness to negotiations over the 
Golan. 
 
2.  (S/NF) BACKGROUND: As notetaker for the Strategic 
Dialogue, Bereyziat was in a position to provide a 
description of these discussions.  When serving as the 
Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow in the French MFA, poloff 
often met and worked with Bereyziat.  He told poloff October 
29 that the Strategic Dialogue may have been his last major 
meeting for the MFA, as he is leaving the ministry for 
personal reasons on November 10.  END SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND. 
 
SECOND ANNUAL FRANCO-ISRAELI STRATEGIC DIALOGUE 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
3.  (C) Pierre Sellal, Director General of the French MFA, 
and Yossi Gal, Director General of the Israeli MFA, led their 
respective delegations in the second annual Franco-Israeli 
Strategic Dialogue on October 29 in Paris.  The "five to six 
hours" of talks covered a wide range of issues, including the 
peace process, Turkey, Syria, and Iran, according to 
Bereyziat.  The first bilateral Strategic Dialogue took place 
in May 2008, approximately a year after President Sarkozy's 
election.  No such exchanges took place under President 
Chirac, Bereyziat acknowledged, adding that the French now 
hope to make it an annual tradition.  He said the next 
dialogue will take place late next year.  (COMMENT: This new 
tradition reflects Sarkozy's avowed attempt to create a more 
balanced French approach to the Middle East by developing a 
closer rapport with Israel.  END COMMENT.) 
 
TURKEY 
------ 
 
4.  (S/NF) The French participants in the Strategic Dialogue 
noted profound disquiet among the Israelis about Turkey, 
Bereyziat said.  He reported that the Israelis claimed the 
Turks have allowed weapons-related material for Iran's 
nuclear program to transit Turkey, with Prime Minister 
Erdogan's full knowledge.  The French replied that Israel 
would need to have clear and concrete proof of such activity 
before leveling accusations.  The Israelis replied that they 
are collecting evidence which they will eventually publicize. 
 In the meantime, Bereyziat said, the Israelis explained that 
they will not take strong public positions condemning what 
they perceive as Turkey's recent strategic shift away from 
western positions on the peace process, Iran, and Israel's 
nuclear program.  Erdogan's public comments about Israel's 
nuclear weapons had particularly irked the Israelis, 
Bereyziat explained, describing them as unprecedented by a 
Turkish leader.  Moreover, the Israelis blamed the Europeans, 
and especially France, for this shift in Turkey's policy. 
They said that if Europe had more warmly embraced Turkey, 
then the Turks would not be taking steps to earn approval in 
 
the Arab and Muslim world at the expense of Israel.  The 
French, in response to this accusation, "begged to differ," 
Bereyziat said. 
 
GOLDSTONE REPORT, PEACE PROCESS, UAV TECHNOLOGY 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
5.  (C/NF) President Sarkozy called Prime Minister Netanyahu 
directly on October 26, Bereyziat reported, to urge him to 
establish an independent investigation into the actions of 
the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza.  Sarkozy informed 
Netanyahu that such a step would decrease pressure on Israel 
and its allies stemming from the Goldstone Report.  Netanyahu 
responded briskly: "No way."  French officials emphasized 
Sarkozy's point again during the Strategic Dialogue, 
Bereyziat said, and the Israelis continued to reject his 
advice.  (See reftel for a description of earlier French 
efforts to persuade the Israelis to take this step.) 
Separately, to prevent the Goldstone Report from further 
impeding the peace process, the French are now contemplating 
a pre-emptive approach in the U.N. General Assembly, 
according to Bereyziat.  With this aim in mind, the GOF may 
float a Resolution that would ensure the Goldstone Report 
does not return to the Security Council.  Bereyziat did not 
specify further what this draft Resolution might contain. 
 
6.  (C/NF) Franco-Israeli discussions on the status of the 
peace process itself resembled a "conversation of the deaf," 
Bereyziat said.  "We have a profound disagreement on tactics, 
but we obviously agree on the end goal."  France has not, 
however, taken any "punitive" measures following the Gaza 
conflict, Bereyziat explained.  He said that whereas other 
European countries stopped selling Unmanned Aerial Vehicle 
(UAV) parts to Israel after the conflict, the French have 
continued to do so.  And Bereyziat reported that the French 
and Israelis did agree on one important point related to the 
peace process: Iran continues to play a destructive role in 
the region, creating and prolonging conflicts. 
 
SYRIA 
----- 
 
7.  (S/NF) Bereyziat described a division within the Israeli 
delegation about Syria's openness to the west.  Some on the 
delegation perceived Syrians as intransigent and discounted 
the possible benefits that might accrue to Israel through the 
re-launching of direct, or even indirect, negotiations. 
Others, Bereyziat said, including military representatives 
"with Ehud Barak's ear," supported the French claim that 
Israel would put Syria in a bind by suddenly expressing 
openness to negotiations over the Golan.  This group of 
Israelis believed Syrian leaders seek to free themselves from 
dependence on Iran and to re-engage fully with the west. 
RIVKIN