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Cablegate: Qadhafi and Asad

TelegramC O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 00000453
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OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0453 1631318
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 111318Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3517
INFO RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT IMMEDIATE 0635
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 0688
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS IMMEDIATE 0521
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 0013
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 0066
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 1111
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4023

C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000453

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/11/2018
TAGS: PREL SY LE LY
SUBJECT: QADHAFI AND ASAD

REF: A) STATE 61438 B) TRIPOLI 442

CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, Department
of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) In the absence of available GOL officials (who are busy hosting the Arab mini-summit), we queried the Egyptian and Lebanese embassies on Qadhafi's agenda with Syrian President Asad this week. Qadhafi's principal objective, they said, is to help Asad mend fences with Egypt and reduce tensions between Syria and other Arab states. They said that Qadhafi had fully aligned himself with Syria vis-a-vis Lebanon, and would be of no help in pressing ref A points with Asad. 2. (C) Qadhafi's position is largely based on ideology and his desire to stand with the forces of "resistance," according to the Lebanese Charge' and the Egyptian DCM. The Leader traveled to Damascus in March to attend the Arab summit, but also to signal solidarity with Asad. (Asad's visit to Tripoli is reportedly intended in part to repay the Leader for that gesture.) 3. (C) There are also Lebanon-specific issues at play, the Charge' said. The Leader has very negative views on Lebanon, which he has publicly characterized as an artificial "Christian state" created by the French that should be merged into Greater Syria. Other factors contributing to Libya's strained relations with Lebanon are the 30-year-old dispute over Lebanese Imam Musa Sadr, who disappeared in Libya during an official visit in 1978; Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri's public snubbing of a Libyan envoy three years ago in Beirut (Berri turned his back on the Libyan in a receiving line); and a Lebanese judge's summons of Qadhafi this year to testify in a lawsuit against Libya brought by the family of the missing Imam. 4. (C) The Egyptian DCM reported that Qadhafi had made numerous attempts to lure Egyptian President Mubarak to Tripoli to broker a "sulha", or truce, with Asad, but had failed to persuade the Egyptian leader to come, just as he had failed to persuade Mubarak to accompany him to Damascus for the Arab Summit. STEVENS

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