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Cablegate: Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria/Eu, Syria/Israel,

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0625/01 1720945
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 210945Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3735
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6903
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4602
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3251
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7742
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1830
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5159
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1365
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7482

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000625

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: Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria/EU, Syria/Israel,
Iraq (6/21)

1. Summary: Syrian papers on June 20 and 21 quoted Amr Moussa,
the Arab League Secretary General, as saying on June 19 that Arab
foreign ministers, who met in Cairo last Friday, did not receive any
document from the Lebanese delegation on weapons smuggling to
Lebanon. The papers concluded that this rebuts allegations of some
parties in the Lebanese government regarding this issue.

Syrian papers reported that the Syrian Minister of Expatriates,
Boutheina Shabaan, discussed on June 19 with Egyptian Foreign
Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit the situation of the Egyptian workforce in
Syria and means of boosting ties between Syrian and Egyptian
expatriates abroad.


The papers also reported Kuwaiti FM Al-Sabah's statement describing
the talks between President Assad and Kuwait's Crown Prince as "very
productive."
Discussions between Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf and President al-Assad
focused on the Palestinian crisis, Lebanon and Iraq and the role
that could be played by the two countries to prevent the escalation
of these conflicts.

Independent newspaper al-Watan published an AFP story about a
Syrian-Russian deal to purchase advanced MIG-31E fighter-jets, but
also quoted a Russian official denying such a deal, according to
which Damascus would receive five MIG-31E jets and a number of MIG
29MM2's.

The papers also reported that Syria has closed a third border point
between Lebanon and Syria in northern Lebanon. This will leave
al-Jdaydeh al-Masnaa as the only border crossing between the two
countries.

Papers also covered a meeting between Deputy PM Dardari and the EU
Ambassador in Damascus. The two discussed technical cooperation
between Syria and the EU. Ambassador Bontosoglou stressed the
importance of Syrian-European cooperation, pointing out the
necessity of taking full advantage of the aid provided by the
European Union.


End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"Crown Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah
concludes a two-day visit to Syria... Kuwaiti PM: 'Talks were very
constructive and fruitful.'" (government-owned Tishreen, 06/20/07)

"British MPs and politicians call for an Israeli withdrawal from the
Golan: Syria is part of the solution and the West does not know its
reality" (government-owned Tishreen 6/20/07)

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa: "Allegations on weapons
smuggling to Lebanon are incorrect." (government-owned Tishreen,
06/20/07)

"President Assad reviewed Arab-German relations and regional issues
with Schroeder; Schroeder: Syria has the right to recover the
Golan" (government-owned al Baath, 06/21/07)

"Damascus has not requested US mediation with Israel," (Independent
al Watan, 06/21/07)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"Away from Chirac"

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

Amr Nassef, a commentator in independent al-Watan, wrote (06/20):
"One does not have to exert too much effort to understand the
relationship between the approach of Sarkozy's France and the
assassination of the Lebanese MP Walid Eido, which was a strong,
sudden blow to the French efforts which are trying to look onto

Lebanon free from any influences that used, during Chirac's time, to
put personal benefits prior to and above any other calculations.

"The new French position could be seen in the French initiative that
tried to get all Lebanese parties together in a dialogue and tried
to be at the same distance from all the parties...

"This can be understood as a normal diplomatic issue for a new
administration, but what makes it different is the name of the
French envoy who brought the initiative, and who was received coldly
by the government team in Beirut - Jean-Claude Cousseran...,[who]
used to be Ambassador to Damascus.... Cousseran is not a easy person
to be subjugated by the sentimental issues that the ruling party in
Lebanon is good at. He has not shown a tendency to accept gifts and
presents. He seems to be in good harmony with the person who
dispatched him [Sarkozy] for this mission and, maybe, for a more
important one in the near future. Thus, one can easily notice why
there is a desire by some parties in Lebanon to exclude [the new]
France from the Lebanese equation, even if it requires the sacrifice
of a major loyalist to the majority...."
----------------------------------

"In order not to turn Ramallah into Saigon and Gaza into Hanoi"

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

In an op-ed in government owned Tishreen, Former Syrian minister
Mahdi Dakhlallah wrote (06/20): "Each and every Arab has the right
to wonder why Israel and the West would support one Palestinian
party against the other. This will harm the supported party and
will entrap it in political commitments that will harm the
Palestinian cause...

"Are we going to witness in the future Israeli support for a
Palestinian Saigon facing a Palestinian Hanoi, which will mean a
bloody fight between the Palestinian brothers...?

"Ramallah today is facing a difficult test: it either works hard to
restore Palestinian harmony or finds itself turning gradually into a
Palestinian Saigon...,[while] Gaza turns into a Hanoi."

Corbin

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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