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Cablegate: Lebanon: Building On Arab League Efforts

VZCZCXRO7050
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHMK #0310 1391310
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181310Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7857
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000310

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2018
TAGS: PREL PINR LE SY IR BA
SUBJECT: LEBANON: BUILDING ON ARAB LEAGUE EFFORTS

REF: STATE 52061

Classified By: CDA Christopher Henzel for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1.(SBU) CDA spoke by phone May 17 with Saeed Al-Faihani, advisor to FM Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, who was in Doha with the FM. Faihani reiterated that Bahrain shares U.S. concerns that the Doha talks should not result in a consolidation of Hizballah's gains.

2.(C) CDA and poloff met May 18 with MFA Director of Bilateral Relations Dr. Dhafer Al-Umran to convey reftel demarche. Al-Umran was the most senior substantive MFA official who was not in Doha or in Sharm el-Sheikh. In response to reftel points, Al-Umran said Bahrain was deeply worried that a "formula" would emerge from Doha that gave Hizballah too much. He said Bahraini FM Sheikh Khalid and UAE FM Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nayhan were in Doha as "the right and left hands of the Saudis" and were working quietly to avoid such an outcome. As for public statements, he reiterated that Bahrain's line to date had been measured and would remain so as long as Bahrain and its Arab partners saw hope of minimizing Hizballah's gains. If not, his assessment was that the Saudis and other Arabs will "turn on" Syria. Al-Umran undertook to convey reftel demarche to the FM in Doha.

3.(SBU) Bio note: Al-Umran, a Sunni, is half Lebanese on his mother's side. He said he spent 16 years of his youth in Lebanon. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** HENZEL

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