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Cablegate: Dpko Responds On Unifil Salute of Hizballah

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0777 2401430
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271430Z AUG 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4872
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 1474
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE 1932

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000777

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER ASEC KPKO UNSC LE SY IS
SUBJECT: DPKO RESPONDS ON UNIFIL SALUTE OF HIZBALLAH
REMAINS AND PHOTO OF IMAD MUGHNIYAH

REF: A. STATE 87070
B. BEIRUT 1211
C. USUN NEW YORK 732

1. (SBU) PolOff and SMCOff met August 21 with UN Department
of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Asia and Middle East
Division Officer-in-Charge Mary Eliza Kimball and Middle East
Team Leader Susan Allee to raise the points from ref A on the
UNIFIL contingent's July 17 salute of Hizballah and
Palestinian mortal remains and the photo of Imad Mughniyah
which was attached to one of the trailers carrying the
remains. Kimball and Allee confirmed that the UNIFIL
contingent, which had been in the area carrying out their
normal duties, had saluted the flag-draped coffins, per their
national service's custom, and likely did not realize whose
photo it was. Both Kimball and Allee said they had not found
it acceptable when they learned of the salute. They said the
UNIFIL Force Commander was now alert to this type of problem,
everyone's consciousness had been raised, and caution would
be exercised in the future.

2. (SBU) Ambassador DiCarlo raised the same points from ref
A with DPKO Assistant Secretary General Edmond Mulet on
August 25. He confirmed that the UNIFIL contingent was not
aware that the photo was of Imad Mughniyah and that UNIFIL
staff have been told to be more cautious and attentive to
this issue.

3. (SBU) In their August 21 meeting with DPKO staff,
USUNOffs noted to DPKO staff that Embassy Beirut no longer
requires an advance submission of information by UNIFIL
members scheduled to visit Embassy Beirut, per ref B, and
that Embassy Beirut appreciates DPKO's assistance in handling
the incidents that were previously discussed with them (ref
C).
Wolff

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