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Cablegate: Syria/Iran, Syria/Brazil, Mashaal, Nahr Al-Bared,

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0532/01 1541203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031203Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3593
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6845
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4561
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3200
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7704
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1786
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5120
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1324
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7447

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000532

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/Iran, Syria/Brazil, Mashaal, Nahr al-Bared,
Al-Hariri Tribunal (6/1-3)


1. Summary: Syrian papers on June 1 focused on the visit to Syria
by Iranian FM Manuchehr Mottaki and his meeting with President Asad
on May 31, which focused on bilateral relations and the latest
developments in the region, particularly in Iraq, Palestine and
Lebanon. Mottaki also met separately with VP Farouk al-Shara,
Speaker of the People's Assembly Mahmoud al-Abrash and FM Walid
Moallem.
Papers on June 2 featured the press conference held jointly by
Mottaki and Mouallem on June 1. Mouallem confirmed that Syria will
not cooperate with the UN tribunal being created to try suspects in
the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, saying
that UN Resolution 1757, adopted on Wednesday by the Security
Council, "has no bearing on Syria, and we have informed the Security
Council that we will not cooperate." "The issue of the tribunal
concerns Lebanon alone, and Syria will not concede its sovereignty
to any party, no matter who that party is," he said. Mouallem said
the move "infringes on Lebanese sovereignty," and he deplored "the
speed with which the Security Council decided on a tribunal without
unanimity either on an international or Lebanese level." "It would
have been better to have a consensus among the Lebanese on the
tribunal. We hope that the Lebanese use dialogue to reach an
agreement that will end divisions and guarantee security and
stability," Mouallem added.

For his part, Mottaki said that Iran will only hold fresh talks with
the United States on stabilizing Iraq if Washington changes its
policies there. "We are examining the results of those discussions
and if there is a real willingness on the part of the US
administration to change ..., we will continue them," he said. "The
lack of security in Iraq and the continuation of the occupation are
the root causes of the crisis," Mottaki added. "Iran is one of the
countries that could help resolve the crisis," Mottaki said.

On Syrian-Brazilian relations, papers on June 1 reported the visit
to Damascus by Ricardo Brozini, Chairman of the Brazilian Labor
Party, and his meetings with President Asad and FM Mouallem on May
31 on boosting bilateral relations. FM Mouallem reiterated the
importance of the role that Brazil is playing in South America and
the Non-Aligned Movement to support issues of developing countries.
Brozini noted Syria's important role in achieving security and
stability in the region. In a statement to reporters following his
meeting with Mouallem, Brozini stressed that Syria and Brazil are
working together to cement peace in the Middle East, confirming his
country's rejection of any project to impose domination on the
region.

Government-owned Al-Thawra on June 1, reported the meeting of the
Chairman of the Hamas Politburo, Khaled Meshaal, with Vice President
Farouk Shara on May 31, focusing on the situation in the Palestinian
arena, Palestinians' sufferings under the Israeli siege, and
attempts to overthrow the national unity government. In a statement
to reporters following the meeting, Mashaal objected to the Lebanese
army's bombardment of Nahr al-Bared refugee camp after clashes with
Fateh El-Islam militants and called for a peaceful solution to the
crisis. Mashaal told reporters that "Hamas is against Palestinian
interference in Lebanese affairs and against targeting any Lebanese
soldier, but we also don't accept the bombardment of the camp or
punishment of our people, in Nahr El-Bared or elsewhere." Mashaal
stressed that Hamas is not a part of the problem and called on
Lebanese officials to "deal peacefully" with the problem.

Government-owned Al-Thawra featured a statement by Nasser Kindeel,
Head of the Orient Center for Strategic Studies, and former Lebanese
MP, that Lebanon has become vulnerable to all security and political
possibilities following the establishment of the International
Tribunal. Kindeel charged that "the governing team in Lebanon has
become unable to move after Lebanon has become mortgaged to US
will."

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"President Asad confers with Iranian FM Mottaki. Syrian and Iranian
points of view were identical on confronting pressures and

continuing mutual coordination and cooperation regarding the issues
of the region" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/1)

"At the conclusion of Syrian-Iranian talks, Foreign Minister
Mouallem: Our relations contribute to security and stability in the
region. The International Tribunal is a Lebanese issue.... Syria
supports all that the Lebanese agree upon. Iranian FM Mottaki:
Iran supports Syria by all possible means" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 6/2)

"Detainees from 'Fatah al-Islam' confirm sponsorship of their group
by the Future Block. Lebanese figures warn against putting Lebanon
under US tutelage. Omar Karami on the anniversary of martyrdom of
Rashid Karami: The governing team is gambling" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 6/2)

"A hot day in Nahr al-Bared. Montreal News Bulletin: Al-Hariri
coordinates with Israel on political and security issues. Hizbollah
warns against an ambush against the Lebanese army" (Government-owned
Al-Thawra, 6/3)

"Lucien Bitterlin, Chairman of the Syrian-French Friendship
Association, warns against the negative repercussions of ratifying
the International Tribunal at the Security Council"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/3)

"Former Lebanese MP Kindeel: Endorsement of the International
Tribunal is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/1)

"Deputy FM Miqdad: Endorsement of the International Tribunal has no
international legitimacy" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/1)

"Syrian-Brazilian talks. Brozini: The meeting with President Asad
was positive and historic" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/1)

"After meeting Khaled Mashaal, Chairman of Hamas Politburo, Shara:
Attempts to target Palestinian national unity must be foiled"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/1)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"Al-Hariri Case"

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

Isam Dari, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishreen, wrote (6/2):
"The Security Council resolution on the establishment of the
International Tribunal under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter lacked
the most basic rules of logic and indeed contained inaccurate
references.

"The resolution talks about 'an agreement between the United Nations
and Lebanon.' But is this really the case? If yes, where are the
roles of the Lebanese president and the role of parliament speaker
in this resolution?

"What is more surprising, however, is that the resolution says that
'the Lebanese people' were the party that asked for discovery of the
criminals. While acknowledging that all the Lebanese and all Arabs
want to know who killed Al-Hariri, the Lebanese people did not ask
the United States or its allies or the United Nations to set up an
international court with such haste and based on Chapter Seven and
before the end of the investigations and even before suspects were
named....

"There are vindictive intentions and political objectives behind the
resolution, serving intentions and objectives that are hostile not
only to Lebanon but also to the Arab nation, and that serve Israel
and its neoconservative protectors overseas....

"Those who have practiced killing, terrorism, wars, and destruction,
and those who adopt the theories of creative instability and
preemptive wars, have no right to talk about justice, for they are

the first to violate it.

"Chapter Seven of the UN charter appears to have been created
specifically against Arabs. Resort to this chapter has become a
major farce, showing the nature of the world in which we live, a
world were rights of peoples and nations are denied, were countries
are violated, and where humans are massacred, while the warmongers
grant themselves and their armies and terrorists full immunity, even
when they are caught red-handed committing crimes against humanity.


"Although the Security Council resolution concerns only Lebanon,
which is witnessing sharp divisions as a result of foreign
interference, we are saying this only as a protest against those who
installed themselves as the adversary and the arbiter and who want
to exploit every event to implement their anti-Arab plans and take
revenge against the Arab resistance and the policy of opposition and
rejection to these plans. Arabs need to be highly alert, as all of
them are targeted."

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

"Proxy Wars"

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

Ali Qasim, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote (6/1):
"Seymour Hersh was not the first to point to the US role in
practicing terrorism, or the first to publish documents on the US
involvement in breeding terrorist organizations. But his reference
to this issue in the past was very important, as he revealed with
categorical evidence the details of the US vision for the region and
the prepared scenarios, which matched what happened later.

"His reference a few months ago to the issue of the US role in
arming fundamentalist groups in different areas and countries,
including Lebanon, acquires special importance, especially when
coupled with a series of projections associated with it and with the
state of pre-emption in the dissemination of information and
documents.

"Strikingly enough, Americans did not deny this role in the past, as
they do not deny it today. The US justification was gradually
shifting to the point of an implicit admission, but by marketing
pretexts that change according to changing circumstances.

"Many do not believe it unlikely that what is happening today is a
repetition of the same scenario, with some additions that increase
the risks inherent in that role. Perhaps the US rush to provide
Lebanon with ammunition and establish an airlift reflects to a large
extent an immediate interpretation of that reality. But this time,
it was so clear and interesting, that many Lebanese have found in
that US generosity reason for suspicions and doubts about the real
objectives....

"What is, however, more dangerous than this is what Americans are
trying to establish through ideas and proposals that talk about
their having intentionally specified the battlefield and the most
appropriate venue for waging the battle outside US territory. They
admitted beforehand to their role in choosing the parties and tools
that will fight this battle on their behalf.

"There are actual experiences and examples on the ground. The US
justification, in the words of President Bush himself, perhaps
discloses the details of that US vision. Facts, however, are more
meaningful and more visible, and the Lebanese have enough [evidence]
to realize the scope of the US role in making and breeding
terrorism."

Corbin

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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