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Cablegate: Syria/Azerbaijan, Ki-Moon, Peace Process, Lebanon, Iraq,

VZCZCXYZ0033
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0354/01 1021222
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121222Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3309
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6725
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4464
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3080
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7615
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1685
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5019
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1229
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7354

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000354

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: Syria/Azerbaijan, Ki-Moon, Peace Process, Lebanon, Iraq,
Palestinian Territories, Iran (4/12)


1. Summary: Papers on Apr. 12 reported FM Mouallem's meeting on
Apr. 11 with Azerbaijani FM Elmar Mohammad Yarov, focused on
bilateral relations. During the meeting, FM Mouallem reviewed the
latest developments in the region, including the situations in Iraq
and the occupied Palestinian territories. He referred to Syria's
efforts to achieve security and stability in the region. FM Yarov
hailed Syria's positions on Middle East issues, showing commitment
to develop and deepen ties with Syria in all domain
s. In a press
statement following the meeting, Yarov described his talks with FM
Mouallem as "excellent," and expressed his country's intention to
open an embassy in Damascus this year after obtaining approval from
Parliament.

Papers also reported that UN SecGen Ban Ki-Moon is to pay an
official visit to Syria on Apr. 24 to hold talks with President
Asad. Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari told al-Watan that
the Arab peace initiative and the ME Peace Process will have
priority on the agenda of Ki-Moon's visit. Jaafari said that talks
will also touch upon UN-Syrian relations and the Palestinian issue.

Papers also featured a meeting in Moscow on Apr. 11 between Russia's
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov and EU Troika
representatives to discuss prospects for the resumption of the
Palestinian-Israeli peace process in light of the formation of a
Palestinian coalition government and revival of the Arab peace
initiative. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties
discussed developments in the Middle East in the context of the
results of the Arab summit in Riyadh. Saltanov voiced Russia's
positions on these issues, reiterating the importance of looking for
political and diplomatic solutions for them. All parties confirmed
the key role of the International Quartet for an Arab-Israeli
settlement. In this connection, Russia suggested an urgent
conference on the Middle East with wide international
participation.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"FM Mouallem discusses the latest developments in the region and
prospects for bilateral relations with Azeri FM Elmar Mohammad
Yarov" (Government-owned Tishreen, 4/12)

"UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is to visit Syria on April 24"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 4/12)

"US Senator Hillary Clinton supports visit to Damascus of Nancy
Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 4/12)

"Democratic Congressmen discuss the possibility of visiting Iran.
Iran stipulates releasing Iranian diplomats prior to the Sharm
al-Sheikh conference" (Independent al-Watan, 4/12)

"Russia reiterates calls for holding an international conference on
the region" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 4/12)

"Lebanese National opposition: The governing team is fighting
desperately to ignite a civil war in Lebanon" (Government-owned
Al-Thawra, 4/12)

"Lebanese circles condemn statements of leader of the Lebanese
forces, Samir Geagea, against the resistance. Former Minister Weam
Wahab accuses Junblatt of criminal operations" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 4/12)

"Al-Sadr movement threatens to withdraw from the Iraqi cabinet. The
Baghdad security plan witnesses fiercest clashes" (Government-owned
Al-Ba'th, 4/12)

"During his meeting with EU Commissioner in Brussels, Palestinian
Finance Minister Fayyad: The Palestinian Authority needs $1
billion(US) for reconstruction. Ten thousand Palestinian prisoners
announce hunger strike" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 4/12)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:


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

"Four Years of US Occupation"

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

Isam Dari, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishrin, wrote (4/12):
"US occupiers, despite their tremendous power and destructive
weapons, failed to break the will of the Iraqi people, who swore to
engage in resistance and confrontation until the occupation has been
defeated and the flag of freedom has returned to fly over all of
Iraq....

"Iraqis and Americans are paying a heavy price for the war in
Iraq.... Though Americans are paying a dear price, US merchants of
US and colonialist schemes are threatening Iran....

"The war decision is easy to make, but the decision to stop the war
or to prevail in it is extremely difficult, if not impossible....

"It is strange that decision-makers in the White House do not learn
from the experiences of the past. What is even more surprising is
that they do not listen to advice from sensible Americans. The only
language they master is the language of steel and fire, even if the
fire burns the American people themselves....

"The past four years have not only been years of fire, blood, and
destruction, but also years when masks fell and lies were exposed,
with the Bush administration appearing exactly as naked as it is.

"We do not think the ideology of neoconservatives will let them
admit their mistakes and sins. We do not think they will change
their Hitlerian policy. But we believe they have failed, and will
fail in the future. They took their first, and last, chance. It is
now up to the American people to decide, and we leave accountability
to history."

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

"First Step"

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

Khalid al-Ashhab, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, said
(4/12): "The initial results of the new US strategy in Iraq show
nothing other than a new and additional expansion of the quagmire in
which the American occupation is sinking....

"Visits by US Congressional delegations are another face of US
policy that must be put on the right path....

"The American dialogue with Iraq's neighbors, particularly Syria, is
only the first step on a road that the Bush administration has made
long, a first step in the cleaning of a picture that has showed the
American face as ugly - indeed, extremely ugly."

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

"Justifying Sanctions"

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

Mihriz al-Ali, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawrah, wrote
(4/12): "The United States, which in the biggest act of deception
against American and world public opinion, invaded Iraq under the
pretext of its possession of weapons of mass destruction, is now
repeating the same tactics, deluding the world into thinking that
the Iranian nuclear program is a threat and increasing international
pressure on Iran in order to justify its strategy toward Tehran....

"Washington keeps silent on Israel's nuclear arsenal.... If the
United States is really interested in world peace and security, it
must call for a nuclear free Middle East...."

Corbin

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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