154088 5/15/2008 15:36 08BUCHAREST374 Embassy Bucharest SECRET VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0374 1361536 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 151536Z MAY 08 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8274 INFO RHFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE S E C R E T BUCHAREST 000374
STATE FOR EUR/NCE AND NEA/IPA AND PM/PPA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/14/2023 TAGS: MARR, MASS, PREL, PGOV, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIA: PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY REQUESTS MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Mark A. Taplin; Reasons 1.4(b) a nd (d).
1. (S) In a May 15 discussion with Poloff, MFA Director for Middle East and Africa Mihail Dobre relayed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) representative in Bucharest sent a formal request to the MOD requesting a military cooperation arrangement with Romania for the development and training of the Palestinian military institutions and forces. The PA would like to conclude specifically a bilateral military education and training agreement with Romania. (Note: The PA's request was forwarded to the MFA from the office of MOD State Secretary Dobritoiu, which oversees international military cooperation. End Note.) Dobre remarked that during then-Foreign Minister Cioroianu's visit to Israel and Lebanon last March, Israel laid down a marker that any Palestinian state would have a security component, but necessarily would be "demilitarized." Dobre said, in the spirit of the U.S.-Romanian strategic partnership, Romania does not want to respond without first obtaining USG advice on how to respond "prudently" to the PA's request.
2. (C) In another vein, Dobre said that Romania's representative at OSCE Vienna, was approached by the PA about the prospects of the PA's inclusion in the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation (MPC). He noted that the PA had sought inclusion in the MPC previously, but the U.S. expressed reluctance at that time. In response to poloffs inquiry, Dobre said he was unaware whether the PA expressed any special, renewed interest in NATO's Mediteranean Dialogue or Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.
3. (S) Finally Dobre shared "sensitive information" obtained by Romania's Ambassador in Beirut regarding plans for relocating the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp to the West Bank. Dobre said that there was Saudi support for moving the camp out of Lebanon, and he underscored the critical conditions for the 35K-plus refugees. He asked if the U.S. had any information that could be shared.
4. (S) Comment/Request for guidance: This is an opportunity for us to have the Romanians reinforce select messages on Palestinian-related issues. The new PA representative in Romania, Ahmed Majdalani, interprets his mandate rather pro-actively, and could be surprising interlocutors with his energy. Nonetheless, the MFA is conducting due diligence in their Middle East policy, and would like a U.S. opinion on these issues in order not to get out of synch with us or upset ongoing negotiations. Please provide guidance on the three issues: PA military cooperation agreement, views on PA's interests in the MPC (or other regional arrangements), and the Nahr al-Bared camp issue to share with the GOR. End comment/request. TAUBMAN