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Cablegate: Cyprus Following Eu On Condemning Arrest And

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNC #0104 0440908
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130908Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY NICOSIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8559
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 3981
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5131
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 2090
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4291

UNCLAS NICOSIA 000104

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/PI, NEA/ELA, EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL XF XG KMPI NSC SY EUN CY
SUBJECT: CYPRUS FOLLOWING EU ON CONDEMNING ARREST AND
ARRAIGNMENT OF SYRIAN DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

REF: SECSTATE 11025

1. Per reftel, PolOff on February 11 demarched MFA Middle
East Desk Officer Dionysis Dionysiou to seek RoC condemnation
of the arrest and arraignment of Syrian democracy activists,
including Riad Seif. Dionysiou replied that the GoC intended
to follow EU consensus on the matter, not opposing the
issuance of a new EU Presidency public statement denouncing
the activists' detention, but not explicitly supporting it,
either. Dionysiou believed it risky for one government to
denounce, without full knowledge of the facts, another
government's decision to detain its citizens.

2. COMMENT: Cypriot efforts to convince Syria to terminate
ferry links between Latakia and the "Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus" are continuing, and represent one of the
MFA's highest short-term priorities. As such, we don't
expect the RoC to issue strong statements against Damascus
anytime soon.
SCHLICHER

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