Cablegate: Syria/Spain, Syria/Israel, Syria/Lebanon, Malaysia, Iraq,
DE RUEHDM #0568/01 1621100
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111100Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3653
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6865
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4575
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3218
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RQH 7716
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1800
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5132
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1338
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7459
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000568
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/Spain, Syria/Israel, Syria/Lebanon, Malaysia, Iraq,
Palestinian Territories, Israel
1. Summary: Syrian papers on June 8-9 reported the visit to Spain
on June 7 by FM Mouallem, who conveyed an oral message from
President Asad to King Juan Carlos of Spain on bilateral relations
and current regional developments, particularly in Iraq, the
occupied Palestinian territories and Lebanon. FM Mouallem met with
Spanish FM Moratinos on June 8. Talks dealt with the latest
developments in the Middle East and means to achieve security and
stability in the region.
On developments in Lebanon, papers featured a statement by former
Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh on June 8 that "Lebanon has
a certain interest in establishing fraternal relations with Syria
based on mutual respect," and called for consolidating
Syrian-Lebanese ties by "direct dialogue," noting that the reasons
behind the political crisis in Lebanon "are known and clear to all."
He added that "the real problem in Lebanon lies in the ruling
party's rejection of national participation". Papers also cited a
statement by Sergey Pukin, Russian Ambassador in Beirut, on June 7
that "Syria has no relation to what is going on in Nahr al-Bared
Camp, north Lebanon". Bukin criticized the accusations directed
against Syria regarding this matter. He called for national
dialogue and consultations by Lebanese political parties to end the
political crisis in the country as soon as possible.
Papers on June 10 featured an article by Chandra Muzaffar, Malaysian
intellectual and President of the International Movement for a Just
World (JUST), published in the Malaysian newspaper "The New Street
Times Press," on June 9, saying that Syria will not compromise the
sovereignty and dignity of its citizens to placate superpowers and
Israel. Muzaffar said that Syria is one of the few Middle Eastern
counties to adopt this principle that expresses the sentiments of
its people. He praised President Asad's depth of vision in handling
regional issues and his awareness of the risks posed by the New
Middle East project. Muzaffar linked the anti-Syria campaign to
Israel's interests and said that "Syria will not abandon the rights
of the Palestinian people" and "will not relinquish its rights in
the face of Israeli arrogance."
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"FM Mouallem and Spanish FM Moratinos conclude talks by stressing
deep historic ties and strengthening of Syrian-Spanish coordination"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 6/9)
"A message from President Asad to King Carlos of Spain conveyed by
FM Mouallem" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/8)
"Israel sends messages to Syria to explore Syria's intentions about
peace. Syria sends no answer" (Independent a-Watan, 6/10)
"Malaysian intellectual: The campaign against Syria is linked to
Israeli interests" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/10)
"Abraham Borg [former Head of Israeli Knesset]: Israel is doomed to
extinction" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/10)
"The Lebanese army tightens siege on Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.
Maronite patriarchs reiterate the importance of a national unity
government and warn against a trap to settle Palestinian refugees"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/10)
"The deteriorating security situation in Nahr al-Bared provokes
Lebanese resentment: Lebanese figures and MPs: The governing team
is bringing destruction to Lebanon" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/9)
"Russia: Syria has nothing to do with Nahr al-Bared events in
Lebanon" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/8)
"The Palestinian resistance attacks an Israeli military base.
Israeli occupation troops penetrate deep into the Gaza Strip"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 6/10)
"The Pope calls upon Bush to work to find solutions to the crises in
the region" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/10)
"The G8 Summit reiterates commitment to a just peace in the region"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 6/9)
"45 Iraqis are killed in various attacks and explosions in Iraq"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 6/9)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"The War and Peace Debate in Israel"
Adnan Ali, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote 6/7:
"The ongoing Israeli debate on the possibilities of war and peace on
the Syrian front shows great confusion on the part of Ehud Olmert's
government, which is still reeling from the July war and the recent
Winograd Commission report, which blamed the government for the loss
of the war....
"The military leaders - some of whom have learned the lessons of the
recent war in Lebanon - say it is in Israel's interest to conclude a
peace agreement with Syria, even if the price is the return of the
Golan in full. They believe that peace with Syria without the Golan
is better for Israel than the Golan without peace....
"Some politicians agree, but not all of them dare to make their true
positions public because they do not want one-upmanship from the
rightist forces or from their rivals, including the disoriented War
Minister Amir Peretz, who is trying, with permanent failure, to
combine his previous political positions that call for negotiations
with the image of a firm, strong leader.
"A few people still refuse to listen to the hallucinations of Ehud
Olmert and his clique in the party and his other extremist partners
about the need for Israel to keep the Golan forever. These few
people are not finding a chance to expand and impose themselves, not
only because the domestic Israeli policy was intensely mobilized
against peace in the past few years, but also because the guardians
in Washington have not yet allowed Israel to deal seriously with the
issue of peace, especially on the Syrian track, as part of the
mistaken US policies and calculations in the region in general,
policies and calculations that are essentially based on coercion,
isolation, and subjugation.
"The policies of the current Israeli government do not indicate that
it is serious in its approach to the issue of peace. Most of the
analyses in Israel itself suggest that this government might turn to
war and aggression against Syria, Lebanon, or the Gaza Strip in an
attempt to reshuffle cards and evade the fall."
"A Positive Report, But"
Ahmad Hamadeh, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(6/8): "It was useful and positive for Amnesty International to
issue a report accusing Israel of plunging the Palestinian people
into poverty and misery over the past decades...
"How long will the four corners of the world continue to hear such
reports without doing anything against Israel's crimes and organized
"Is it enough for Amnesty International to criticize Israel's
heinous crimes and for the International Criminal Court to determine
that the racial segregation wall [in the West Bank] is illegitimate?
Is it enough for the Security Council to call on Israel to withdraw
from the territories it occupied in 1967...?
"International human rights and political organizations must move
beyond condemnation and denunciation.... The Security Council, which
issues immediate resolutions against Iraq, Sudan, and others
demanding that they be urgently implemented, must apply the same
standards to Israel, which ignores all its resolutions and
"The US Dream, from the Region to the Missile Shield"
Isam Dari, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishreen, wrote (6/9):
"In Washington, Israeli VP Mofaz criticized the Iranians for
ignoring Security Council resolutions and announced that Israel will
discuss other options if the sanctions on Iran do not work....
"If Iranians are ignoring the Security Council resolutions, as Mofaz
claims, is Israel not doing the same? Don't the records of the
Security Council include more than 40 resolutions condemning Israel
and calling on it to withdraw from the occupied Arab territories
"When Mofaz threatens Iran with military action, calls for blocking
the Syrian-Lebanese border to prevent the smuggling of weapons to
Hizbollah, and defends the policy of killing and terrorism against
the Palestinian people, he forgets that he engages in political and
media belligerence and raises a heavy stick in the face of a
sovereign, major regional power. He also forgets that while Iran is
developing a peaceful nuclear program, Israel has a military nuclear
program and at least 200 nuclear bombs....
"Mofaz is also behaving like a pirate and highway robber when he
talks about blocking the Syrian-Lebanese border on the pretext that
weapons are being smuggled to Hizbollah via this border.... Israeli
leaders build their policies and positions on lies, deception,
forgery of history, and distortion of facts.
"But the bigger problem is that some superpowers adopt this Israeli
nonsense, build their policies on its bases, and even use their
military and political capabilities to implement the schemes of the
Israeli terrorists and killers....
"The administration of the neoconservatives seeks a world that
serves US interests, realizes the 'American dream,' and submits to
the 'American century' plan. So it is not strange that the Bush
administration adopts the proposals of Tel Aviv leaders. We do not
transcend the boundaries of logic when we link what is happening in
the region, from Iraq to Lebanon to Palestine, to the missile shield
plan and to the economic and trade wars that the United States is
waging against the world, including the superpowers. All these are
links in a chain meant to tighten the noose around the neck of the
world and its countries and peoples."
"When Borg Speaks Up"
Hanan Hamad, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(6/9): "Tel Aviv, which complained to the United Nations about
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad's statement on the start of
the countdown for the removal of Israel, accepted or did not protest
against similar statements by Abraham Borg, former Israeli Knesset
speaker and former Jewish Agency president, in which he strongly
criticized Israel's policies and warned that they will lead to the
end of international Judaism....
"It is obvious that President Ahmadinezhad and Borg were describing
Israel's points of weakness, each from his own perspective. The
Iranian president diagnosed the nature of the Israeli entity, which
is based on usurpation, racism, and occupation -- characteristics
that make it prone to collapse no matter how long it takes. History
provides evidence. The blows of the resistance, the Palestinian
people's determination to adhere to their land and to face the
occupation even with bare chests, and the victory of the Lebanese
resistance over the Israeli aggression in July, are undoubtedly
powerful blows to the worn-out entity. As for Borg, he expressed
his fears for this entity and called for addressing the factors that
are leading to its collapse and disappearance. But both agreed on
the same fact: Israel has dug its grave with its own hands."