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Cablegate: Issa Codel, Specter, Pelosi's Visit

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DE RUEHDM #0340/01 0991329
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FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3275
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6702
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4442
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3057
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RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7331

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000340

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/R/MR:STHIBEAULT AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, AZAIBACK, AND
AFERNANDEZ, IIP/G/NEA-SA MDAVIDSON
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Issa Codel, Specter, Pelosi's Visit
(4/6-9)

1. Summary: Syrian papers on Apr. 6 reported President Asad's
meeting on Apr. 5 with Darrell Issa, member of the US House of
Representatives. Talks dealt with developments in the region and
means and mechanisms to start relations on a correct basis between
Syria and the United States. Issa also met with FM Mouallem, who
emphasized Syria's commitment to dialogue with the US on all issues
and asserted the importance of the recent visits paid by US
Congressmen to Damascus for finding solutions to the problems of the
region. Issa reiterated the importance of continuing dialogue
between Syria and the US, adding that "the latest visits by US
Congressmen to Syria constitute a new start for joint action to
solve pending issues between the two countries." Issa said his
meeting with President Asad was "very constructive." In a press
statement at the end of his talks in Damascus, Issa underscored that
he joins his voice to the voice of Speaker of the US House of
Representative Nancy Pelosi and supports recommendations of the
Baker-Hamilton Committee regarding necessity of holding a dialogue
with Syria. "At some point we will have a new Ambassador," he said.


Independent al-Watan on Apr. 9 reported that the US Administration
is facing new calls for dialogue with Syria, citing an interview
with CNN by Republican Senator Arlen Specter on Apr. 8 voicing
support for Pelosi's trip to Syria. Mr. Specter said, "We have to
deal with President Asad," adding that "Asad can be negotiated
with," and that "discussions with Syria are very, very important."

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"President Asad meets a new US delegation. New mechanisms to
initiate new US-Syrian relations. Member of US House of
Representatives, Issa: The meetings were fruitful and dialogue will
continue" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 4/6)

"Syria, after Iraq, becomes a problem between the Congress and the
US Administration" (al-Watan, 4/9)

"British Magazine The Economist: Syria overcame pressure through
President Asad's intelligence and patience" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 4/9)

"Moscow: Pelosi visit to Syria was necessary and useful"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 4/7)

"Hungarian Communist Party: Syria is the guarantee of peace and
stability of the region" (Government-owned Tishreen, 4/7)

"Ki-Moon: Endorsement of the International Tribunal will be through
constitutional channels" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 4/6)

"Hizbollah SecGen Nasrallah: Dialogue has failed; the solution is
in seeking the Lebanese people's judgment. The International
Tribunal system is based on pre-made judgments. To the governing
team: For once, we did not lose" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 4/9)

"Solutions are blocked. Lebanese Parliament Speaker Berri: The
problem is the governing team's rejection of the principle of
partnership" (Government-owned Tishreen, 4/8)

"Lebanese opposition accuses the February 14 team of treason:
Sending memo about the International Tribunal to the UNSC is a
surrender of sovereignty" (Government-owned Tishreen, 4/7)

"Six US soldiers killed in Diyala. Intensive measures on the 4th
anniversary of US occupation of Iraq. Confrontations extend in
al-Diwaniyah. Iraqi clergyman Moqtada al-Sadr warns against
sedition planted by Iraq's enemies" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th,
4/9)

"Iraqi FM Zebari announces that Ministerial Conference on Iraq will
be held in Sharm al-Sheikh at the beginning of May"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 4/8)

"With the approach of the 4th anniversary of Baghdad downfall, a

Pentagon report refutes justifications of war" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 4/7)

"Palestinian security steps as a prelude to forming the National
Security Council. The prisoner swap deal awaits Olmert's approval"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 4/9)

"Palestinian assurances about Shalit. Russia sends Ivanov to Israel
and the Palestinian territories: Justifications for siege have
ended" (Government-owned Tishreen, 4/7)

"One Palestinian martyred in Jabalya. Israel attempts to
assassinate Zakaria al-Zobedi, Leader of Al-Aqsa Brigades.
Palestinians demand 450 Palestinian captives in return for Shalit"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 4/8)

"Tehran and Moscow resume Boshahr talks. Iranian President is to
announce good news on Iranian nukes" (Government-owned Tishreen,
4/8)

"The Russian Duma Council rejects NATO's advance to the East"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 4/9)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

-------------------

"Focal Syrian Role"

-------------------

Muhammad Ali Buzah, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (4/6): "The visits to Syria by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
and other American congressmen represent an important turning point
in US public policy for the American people, who have begun to feel
the grave damage that the official neoconservative policy, which is
organically linked to the Zionist project, has caused to the
reputation, prestige, and interests of the United States, especially
in this part of the world....

"There is no doubt that the diplomacy of dialogue and negotiations
with Syria, and listening to Syria's views on the hot files and many
issues relevant to the region and the conflict, reflect an
acknowledgement of the importance and centrality of the Syrian role,
the impossibility of ignoring or transcending this role, and the
futility of the attempts to implement plans or solutions that
Damascus does not approve and that do not meet Syria's national and
pan-Arab principles of liberating land and regaining rights as the
basis of a just and comprehensive peace....

"Events have proved that the logic of diktats and conditions and the
language of blackmail, pressure, and siege have failed to force
Damascus to change its positions....

"The Bush administration must not forget that Syria has occupied
land that must be returned. What is urgently needed today is a
change in the policies and conduct of this administration. It
should possess, even if for one time only, a will for peace and must
force Israel to accept the peace option and its requirements. It
should have the courage to admit that it made mistakes and to
withdraw and leave the region for its people before asking others to
do anything."

--------------------------------------------- -

"Lying Is an Official Policy for a Superpower"

--------------------------------------------- -

Isam Dari, chief editor of government-owned Tishreen, commented
(4/7): "The US Administration devoted a number of days of its time
to monitoring and counting what it saw as fatal mistakes that House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi made....

"Leaders of the US Administration, therefore, rushed to confront
Pelosi's decision in advance. They tried to prevent the visit

before it took place, perhaps for fear that the American official

would find facts that the neoconservative team was hiding from the
American public and Congress, facts that would only aggravate the
scandal of this team....

"And when they failed to prevent the visit despite all the pressure
they applied, they wanted to provide Pelosi and her large delegation
with false 'documents' validating their anti-Syria positions and
policies and proving that Syria is a troublemaker in the Middle
East, killing Americans in Iraq with terrorists it allows to cross
the border....

"The US Administration was shocked that those 'documents' were
unconvincing to Pelosi and most of her delegation members. The
shock was even more powerful when Pelosi announced from Damascus
that Syria indeed wants peace....

"Pelosi must have lied and said that Syria does not want peace,
contrary to the positions she heard and ascertained in Syria.

"She should have adhered to the 'political doctrine' of the Bush
administration, which says: 'keep lying until the others believe
you....'

"Had Pelosi done that, she would have won the blessings of Bush, the
leaders of his administration, and the gang of neoconservatives that
draws up American policies, and which we nominate for the Oscar for
lying, deception, trickery, and the assassination of private and
public freedoms and democracy.

"What is the matter with this 'clique' that rules the United States
and controls the world and humanity? While it brags about freedom
and democracy and launches destructive wars against nations under
the pretext of promoting democracy, it wants to muzzle anyone who
speaks the truth, even if the speaker is the head of the US House of
Representatives....

"The Bush administration has indeed proven to us that it is
shameless. And those who have no shame can do anything in broad
daylight. They try to twist facts, forge history, lie to the
Americans and the world, and establish courts of inquisition to try
even the highest ranking American officials if they dare to break
the will of the neoconservatives, the merchants of wars and
destruction and the enemies of rights, justice, and peace.

"We know that Mrs. Pelosi is fully able to defend herself and her
positions and convictions. But we fear for her from the arrows of
the White House and the State Department, and from new lies they
might fabricate about her. At the same time, we fear that the truth
might be lost, since lying has become an official policy of a
superpower....

"What is assuring, however, is that the representatives of the
American people are today more aware of the facts and of the
disasters that the Bush administration brings upon the US,
Americans, and the rest of the world."

-----------------------------------

"Before It Is too Late for Apology"

-----------------------------------

Izz-al-Din al-Darwish, an editorialist in government-owned Tishrin,
commented (4/8): "The American people are impatiently awaiting the
departure of the current US Administration and the arrival of one
more concerned about the interests, stature, and international
reputation of the United States....

"Seventy-two percent of Americans said in the latest opinion poll
that they are not satisfied with the performance of the Bush
administration....

"The war on Iraq was the main reason behind this position by the
American people. Yet the Bush administration does not want to
accept these facts. It insists on swimming against the current. It

goes too far in provoking and deceiving Americans by forging facts
about the war on Iraq and about foreign policy. It does not want to
learn from previous experiences and announce its mistakes publicly
and apologize to the Americans and the Iraqis for them before it is
too late...."

Corbin

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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