2011-02-07 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageThe Telegraph: Israel's secret hotline to the man tipped to replace Mubarak

"The new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a long-standing favourite of Israel's who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret "hotline" to Cairo, leaked documents disclose."

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El País: Estados Unidos cree que nunca se sabrá si el expresidente chileno Eduardo Frei fue asesinado (The United States believe it will never be known if the Chilean ex-president Eduardo Frei was assassinated)

"El que fuera máximo mandatario entre 1964 y 1970 murió tras someterse a una operación rutinaria de hernia en la que contrajo una infección bacteriológica. (The one who was maximum leader of Chile between 1964 and 1970 died after a routine hernia surgery in which he got a bacteriologic infection.)"

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"Special Envoy Mitchell, Embassy Damascus is looking forward to your prospective visit. In your initial meeting, it is unlikely that the Syrians will put forward any new ideas. They will rely on your team to present ideas that they can consider and possibly negotiate. Asad and his FM Walid al-Muallim will undoubtedly recount that Syria and Israel were "words away" from a deal in late December. The details of the story often change, however, in the retelling. In the wake of President Obama's speech, the Syrians will be testing you to see if the USG is sincere in its position against Israeli settlement growth."

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"Three months after the SARG cut fuel subsidies by 50 percent, the consequent 350 percent increase in the price of diesel has been reflected across the spectrum of goods and services. Official SARG statistics indicate inflation has increased by 15 percent since summer 2007, but many economists estimate the actual figure to be closer to 25 percent. Economic reformers praise the SARG's decision to reduce subsidies but note the decision was not accompanied by adjustments in SARG monetary policy that could have better mitigated the resulting inflation. While reformers claim that short-term inflation is an inevitable side effect of the transition to a market economy, critics argue that decreased consumer purchasing power is evidence that reforms hurt Syria's majority poor. Meanwhile, Syrian consumers are bracing for additional, seasonal price hikes with the onset of Ramadan in early September."

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El País: Presiones contra los genéricos (Pressure against the medicaments)

"Los intentos de países pobres por conseguir medicamentos asequibles se enfrentan a la defensa de EE UU de los intereses de los grandes laboratorios. (The poor countries intentions of getting affordable medicines face the United States defense of the big laboratories interests.)"

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Aftenposten: A/S Welch´s Meeting with Israeli Mod´s Gilad Focuses on Border Guard Agreement, Developing Relations

"Israeli Defense Ministry Political Security Director Amos Gilad confirmed to visiting NEA A/S Welch and Ambassador Kurtzer August 16 that Egypt and Israel had reached a general agreement on the deployment of 750 Egyptian Border Guards along the Egypt-Gaza border. Israeli DefMin Mofaz is expected to present the draft agreement to the Israeli cabinet for approval next week. Though not legally required, PM Sharon has elected to present it to the Knesset for approval as well. Gilad said that, as a result of the negotiations on the agreement with the Egyptians over the last 15 months, relations between the two countries have improved somewhat."

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Aftenposten: Nea Das Dibble´s 9/20 Meeting with Israeli Mod´s Amos Gilad Focuses on Gaza, Post-Disengagement

"Israeli MOD Political-Military Affairs Bureau Chief Amos Gilad told NEA DAS Elizabeth Dibble September 19 that the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is a pillar of the recently-concluded Egypt-Israel agreement on the Egypt-Gaza border and performs a vital role monitoring changes along the Egypt-Gaza border. Gilad urged that the USG do nothing to diminish the MFO´s capabilities or undercut its role in the region. On Egypt, Gilad said Israel wants to develop a strategic dialogue that would serve as the basis for further developing relations, including cultural and military ties. He cited both the future of Gaza and Egyptian military and terrorist activities in the Sinai as reasons why such a dialogue is necessary. Gilad said Egypt´s disbelief about how quickly the IDF would evacuate Philadelphi ensured that the Egyptians were not prepared when the IDF withdrew. He described the situation along the Egypt-Gaza border as "anarchy" and alleged that people and weapons -- including RPGs and Strela missiles -- have crossed the border into Gaza. (NOTE: IDF and security officials briefing the Knesset September 21 claimed that no such weaponry was smuggled into the Gaza Strip after Israel´s withdrawal. END NOTE.) Gilad said that as long as the situation in the Philadelphi corridor is unresolved, it will affect the entire Egypt-Israel relationship, and impede resolution of the Rafah passage issue. Gilad described PA Civil Affairs Minister Dahlan as physically sick and emotionally run down, citing as evidence Dahlan´s recent hospitalization in Israel -- and subsequent flight to the Czech Republic."

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Aftenposten: Amb. Jones´ 9/26 Meeting with Israeli Mod´s Gilad Focuses on Egypt, Gaza, Hamas Activity and PA Elections

"In a September 26 meeting with the Ambassador, Israeli MOD Political-Military Bureau Chief Amos Gilad indicated that his September 25 meetings in Egypt to discuss the Rafah passage on the Egypt-Gaza border yielded no breakthroughs. Gilad said the Israelis prefer to open Rafah passage after six months, while the Egyptians prefer to open it by mid-January -- before Palestinian elections and the Haj. Gilad said the Egyptians are controlling the Egypt-Gaza border better than before, and praised them for quickly sealing the border when asked by Israel to do so. Requesting that his information and sources be strictly protected, Gilad said Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman recounted to him the details of a recent visit to Cairo by Syrian President Al-Asad. Gilad cited Suleiman as saying that Al-Asad "threatened" Egypt not to yield to U.S. pressure to isolate Syria, or suffer Syria´s playing the 'Palestinian card.'"

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Aftenposten: Ambassador´s Meeting with Min Info and Egis Chief on Radio Sawa and Al-Manar

"On April 20th, the Ambassador pressed MOI Al-Fiqqi on the GOE´s media portrayal of issues important to the US-Egyptian relationship, including Iran, Hamas, and Iraq. He also again raised the issues of Radio Sawa and Al-Manar. The Ambassador argued that if the GOE values its relationship with the US as a strategic asset it should not, in Al-Fiqqi´s own words, "compromise with anti-American public opinion,"but rather seek to lead and shape it with more factual information. Al-Fiqqi took the point and said he had, for example, conveyed to the editors-in-chief of the top state-owned dailies the true facts of increased US assistance to the Palestinians (Ref A)."

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Aftenposten: A/S Welch´s Meeting with Intelligence Chief

"A/S Welch and Jordanian intelligence chief Dhahabi discussed Iran´s ambitions in the region, and how to deal with Hamas."

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Aftenposten: Codel Ackerman Meetings with Mubarak, Suleiman, and Aboul Gheit

"In separate June 28 meetings with President Hosni Mubarak, EGIS Director Omar Suleiman, and FM Ahmed Aboul Gheit, CODEL Ackerman and the Ambassador discussed Israeli-Palestinian developments (focusing on Egypt´s goals for building upon the current "calming period"), Egypt´s regional relations, and various human rights criticisms of Egypt. CODEL Ackerman was composed of Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), and professional staff members David Adams, Jamie McCormick and Howard Diamond."

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Aftenposten: Deng Alor on NCP Intrigue, Egyptian President Mubarak´s Visit

"Foreign Minister Deng Alor said Egyptian President Mubarak, worried about Sudanese instability, delivered a grim message to President Bashir on November 10 counseling full and rapid compliance with ICC and Darfur issues. Both the Egyptians and Alor see increasing signs of an incipient power shift in Sudan which could force Bashir out of power, replace him with VP Taha and a group of civilian Islamists or lead to preventive action by a cornered Sudanese President against his internal foes."

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(Image Credit: Dali Rău)

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