Cablegate: Lebanon, Peace Process, Palestinian Territories, Iraq,
DE RUEHDM #0772/01 2110616
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 300616Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3938
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6988
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4673
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3334
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7807
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1904
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5231
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1438
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7548
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000772
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: Lebanon, Peace Process, Palestinian Territories, Iraq,
1. Summary: All Syrian papers on July 29 featured Hizbollah leader
Sayed Hassan Nasrallah's speech on July 28 in mass rally in Bint
Jbeil in south Lebanon commemorating the anniversary of the July
2006 war with Israel saying that the Lebanese resistance has foiled
US plans for a new Middle East and warning that his party will
continue to possess a large rocket arsenal to strike Israel again if
Lebanon comes under attack. "This war aimed to impose a new Middle
East, fragmented into ethnic mini-states, serving the interests of
the United States and Israel," Nasrallah said. "There is no new
Middle East; It is gone with the wind." Nasrallah charged that the
July-August war was the result of "a US decision" and the United
States provided Israel with "political and material support."
Nasrallah said both Washington and Israel were counting their losses
since the conflict, adding that Hizbollah will never be at peace
Independent al-Watan on July 29 reported that Spanish Foreign
Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said that his country fully supports
the Arab Peace Initiative, describing it as "a good base" for an
international peace conference, which the US has suggested to be
held next fall. Moratinos is in a tour in the region and will visit
Syria this week.
Al-Watan July 29 also reported that a conference on the health needs
of Iraqis in neighboring countries is convening today in Damascus,
and will last for two days. Minister of health in Syria, Jordan,
Iraq, and Egypt, in addition to representatives from the UNDP and
the UNICEF, will attend the meeting.
On Syrian-Chinese relations, government-owned Al-Thawran on July 27
reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad's meeting on
July 26 with Lihua Chen, the Chinese Ambassador in Damascus,
reiterating Syria's support for the One-China principle which enjoys
vast acceptance and backing in the world. Miqdad renewed Syria's
rejection of attempts aiming at targeting this principle including a
referendum that the Taiwan administration wants to make in order to
join the UN. During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral
relations between both countries and means of enhancing them in all
domains, as well as coordination and consultation between them in
the UN. The Deputy Foreign Minister underlined Syria's commitment to
resolution 2758 of 1971 adopted by the UN General Assembly which
expressed the international community's recognition of one
legitimate government in China.
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"Hizbollah SecGen Nasrallah: We have foiled US plans for a new
Middle East... Dreams of the governing team have begun to vanish"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 7/29)
"President Lahoud warns against settling Palestinian refugees.
Former PM Karami warns against prolonging the crisis. MP Aoun: The
confrontation with the governing team started after the
marginalization of the presidency. Lebanese Ministers and MPs: The
governing team is gambling on the US-Israeli project"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 7/28)
"French Foreign Minister Kouchner to the Lebanese: Either dialogue
or war" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 7/29)
"Moratinos reiterates Spain's support for the Arab Peace Initiative;
He is due in Damascus this week" (Independent al-Watan, 7/29)
"A European diplomatic source: Fateh al-Islam is affiliated with
Al-Qaeda; Syria is a target of its operations" (Independent
"Damascus hosts a conference on the health needs of Iraqi refugees"
(Independent al-Watan, 7/29)
"Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: No solution for any of the
region's issues without Syria" (Government-owned Tishreen, 7/28)
"Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad confers with Embassy of
China. Talks focus on enhancement of consultations and bilateral
cooperation" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 7/27)
"Rice and Gates in the region to 'soothe' moderate 'Arabs'"
(Independent al-Watan, 7/29)
"The United States and Canada vote against a resolution by the UN
Social and Economic Council that calls for reviving the peace
process on the basis of resolutions 242, and 338" (Government-owned
"Moscow asserts that Hamas is a substantive party in talks.
President Abbas heads to Moscow to get clarification about its
position" (Government-owned Tishreen, 7/29)
"Olmert proposes an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank while
keeping major settlements. 8% of Israelis support Olmert"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 7/28)
"Israel commits a new massacre in Gaza" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,
"61 Iraqis killed, 94 wounded in an explosion of al-Qarada. A
Congressional committee calls for a timetable to withdraw US troops
from Iraq" (Government-owned Tishreen, 7/29)
"No political roadmap in Iraq. Nine US soldiers killed in Iraq
within two days. An emergency US plan to withdraw US troops"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 7/28)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"Farcical Play and Failed Production"
Isam Dari, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(7/28): "US President George Bush's administration is trying to
accomplish in a year and six months what it failed to accomplish in
five years and six months. Will it succeed?
"This administration is trying to put on the discussio0n table and
in the circle of attention what it has ignored since its
controversial arrival in the White House. We are talking about the
peace process, specifically, a settlement or a deal to delude the
public opinion into thinking that a victory was achieved on the
peace front, since defeats are what this administration has on the
"The search for some victory prompted Bush and his senior
administration officials to move in the Middle East arena in an
attempt to conclude a deal between Israel and the Palestinian
Authority; a deal that might be deposited in his empty account in
the political bank.
"We have no doubt that the American policymakers are smart. But
this smartness is incomplete because it assumes that the others are
naove and can be deceived, which is not the case. Here lies the
mistake in Washington's policies.
"This smartness turned Tony Blair into the peace envoy of the
Quartet, which is exclusively owned by the US Administration,
because Blair has been tested and has proved to be the best to
implement the American orders in full....
"But Blair alone is not enough to score the desired accomplishment
that would help Bush go down in history as a peacemaker, not as a
man of war, terror, and destruction....
"Here is Miss Rice packing in a hurry, getting ready to come to us
to give momentum to the American and international efforts to
establish a temporary Palestinian mini-state without independence
and sovereignty and only on a part of the West Bank. What a
"Blair and Rice are part of the scene and part of the moves. What is
required is an American-European-Arab mobilization to produce the
worst farcical play in the region's history.
"How can a team managed by masters of Zionists or Zionized people
make a just peace without it being biased toward the Zionist plan
"How can this team turn the losers and the defeated into victorious
"For an administration that has been skilled at lies and deception
over six and a half years, this is very easy. The old weapon it used
to invade and occupy Iraq and ignite fires in it can be used again.
This is the weapon of lies....
"Today, people who should be referred to the war crimes court come
to us to tell us about an Arab-international conference 'meeting' in
the United States in September to normalize Arab relations with
Israel, even before the signing of a worthless deal that gives a
part of a Palestinian mini-state to part of the Palestinians....
"Bush might achieve some false victory, but it will remain false.
He will not be able to mislead the world once again because he is
not a man of peace and because he is the advocate of a colonialist
planbased on the settlements. He and peace are diametrically
opposed. The new play will miserably fail because its production is
a failure and because it is a new lie by an administration that have
taken up lies and charlatanism as a profession."
"How they abort Victories!"
Hanan Hamad, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(7/28): "The Bush administration, which is unable to come out of
the Iraqi quagmire and which lost many of its cards in Lebanon, is
not really willing to achieve a genuine settlement between the
Palestinians and Israelis....
"This administration, through its growing talk about peace and the
sending of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region, is
trying to score some achievement for President Bush, one that
improves Olmert's image and strengthens the positions of those whom
the administration calls 'Arab moderates', without offering
Palestinians an effective and complete solution guaranteeing their
inalienable rights as acknowledged by the international resolutions
and the historical facts of the conflict.... The solution the United
States is looking for is one that completely serves Israel's
"It is painful that Arabs of 'moderation' are putting the eggs of
the victories of the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq in
the basket of the American-Israeli plan that seeks to thwart these
"A Danger Signal"
Ahmad Hamadah, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(7/27): "The US Administration secretly pledged to Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert to increase US aid to the Israeli military
budget to $3 billion annually....
"Contrary to their claims that they seek to achieve peace, security,
and stability in the region, the United States and Israel are
planning war strategies for years to come....
"What peace is Israel calling for amid such policies that pave the
way for further wars, destruction, and weapon stockpiles? And what
international conference is Bush calling for to launch the
Arab-Israeli negotiations in the fall if he is planning to almost
double the military assistance to Tel Aviv over the coming years...?
"These are the strategies of war and aggression that the world has
known well. It is obviously difficult for a racist usurper entity
and a blind US Administration that sees solutions only through wars
and aggression, to abandon these strategies...."
"Policy of Lies"
Mundhir Khalil Id, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (7/27): "Another lie by the Bush warning is that an American
withdrawal from Iraq would enable Al-Qa'ida and Islamic extremists
to control the Middle East, try to obtain nuclear weapons, and plan
and finance new attacks on the United States....
"The world now knows the truth about Bush and the threat he poses to
the world security and peace through his reckless policy. During
Bush's reign, the world has seen nothing but death, destruction,
blood, and chaos. It is high time Bush realized that lies do not
build the glory of countries or individuals and that he ought to