Viewing cable 09USUNNEWYORK618
Title: AMBASSADOR RICE'S JUNE 22 MEETING WITH TERJE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09USUNNEWYORK6182009-06-25 02:26:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
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OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0618/01 1760226
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 250226Z JUN 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6762
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000618 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/24/2019 
TAGS: PREL UN KWBG KPAL IS LE SY IR SA VT
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RICE'S JUNE 22 MEETING WITH TERJE 
ROED-LARSEN 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Susan E. Rice for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (C) Summary: Terje Roed-Larsen told Ambassador Rice on 
June 22 that the June 7 Lebanese Parliamentary elections had 
been "good news" and described three possible regional 
scenarios going forward in order of probability: (1) business 
as usual, (2) a regional war started by Hizballah involving 
Israel and possibly Syria, and (3) a spectacular breakthrough 
on the peace process.  He urged the U.S. to focus on the 
second phase of the Road Map in order to resolve the border 
issue, which would solve the settlements questions through 
land swaps.  He said he was flying to Rome to finalize 
negotiations between the Vatican and Saudi Arabia for the 
establishment of an international organization, to be based 
in Vienna, for inter-religious dialogue.  On Iran, 
Roed-Larsen said that Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are concerned 
the protests in Iran could impact their own populations.  End 
summary. 
 
¶2.  (C) In a June 22 meeting, Ambassador Rice discussed with 
Terje Roed-Larsen his "three hats" as (1) Special Envoy of 
the Secretary-General for the implementation of UNSCR 1559; 
(2) President of the International Peace Institute (IPI); and 
(3) the Secretary-General's envoy for interfaith initiatives. 
 
¶3.  (C) On Lebanon, Roed-Larsen described the June 7 
Parliamentary elections in Lebanon as "good news" and said 
that IPI's 2008 opinion poll had accurately predicted the 
results.  Looking forward, Roed-Larsen said there were three 
possible scenarios for the Middle East which he listed in 
order of probability: (1) business as usual, including the 
possibility of an assassination or two; (2) regional war: and 
then (3) a spectacular breakthrough in the peace process.  He 
described the regional war scenario as beginning with 
Hizballah attacking Israel or an Israeli target to revenge 
Imad Mughniyah's assassination with Israel then retaliating, 
thereby starting a war.  Roed-Larsen said that Israeli 
leaders believe Hizballah will complete its transformation 
into a regular army within two years, and so believe they 
will more likely "win a war if they engage Hizballah before 
this transformation is completed and are looking for a 
"causus belli."  Roed-Larsen said Syria might be drawn into 
such a war either willfully or if Israel attacks some 800 
ground-to-air missiles that are stored on the Syrian side of 
the Syrian-Lebanese border. 
 
¶4.  (C) On the Palestinian situation, Roed-Larsen said that 
IPI has commissioned an opinion poll in the West Bank/Gaza 
and they should have the results in September.  Early 
indications from test polls show that Hamas would win an 
election in the West Bank but is very weak in Gaza, 
Roed-Larsen shared.  He commented that if there is a good 
peace deal, Fatah will win in both places.  Turning to 
Israel, he described Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as not 
an ideologue but boxed in by his coalition.  In order to get 
a peace deal, Roed-Larsen said Netanyahu will have to join a 
coalition with Kadima.  Roed-Larsen characterized Israeli 
Foreign Minister Lieberman as "thuggish" and "not a great 
charmer" but someone who is very bright and pragmatic and 
wants to be a future Prime Minister.  Given the Palestinians' 
current weakness, Roed-Larsen urged the U.S. to bring in the 
key, moderate Arabs and have them press President Abbas to 
make a deal.  Roed-Larsen stressed that everything should be 
based on the second phase of the Road Map in order to resolve 
the border issue, which would solve the settlements question 
through land swaps.  He described how Arab League 
Secretary-General Moussa, at a recent dinner of key European 
and Arab Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg hosted by 
Roed-Larsen and Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos, had 
argued persuasively for a six month moratorium on settlements 
in order to negotiate the second phase of the Road Map. 
 
¶5.  (C) Turning to his third hat -- interfaith initiatives, 
Roed-Larsen said he was flying to Rome to finalize 
negotiations between the Vatican and Saudi Arabia on a new 
international organization, to be based in Vienna, for 
inter-religious dialogue.  Roed-Larsen said that Saudi King 
Abdullah views this as the "most important thing he has done 
in his life."  Roed-Larsen noted that the Saudis had recently 
recognized the Jewish nature of the Western Wall in Jerusalem 
and this could lead to establishment of normal bilateral 
relations between Saudi Arabia and the Vatican but the Saudis 
were treading slowly so as to not upset the religious 
clerics.  Roed-Larsen suggested that there could be a role 
for Saudi Arabia to play in Jerusalem's Holy Basin. 
 
¶6.  (C) On Iran, Roed-Larsen said that while Egypt and Saudi 
Arabia believe that Iran is the "main enemy," they are 
concerned that their own populations may draw inspiration 
 
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from the protests in Iran.  Roed-Larsen said, "whatever way 
it ends, it could have huge consequences and Iranian society 
will not be the same."  He said that both Hizballah and Hamas 
are nervously watching what happens in Iran. 
RICE