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Cablegate: Initial Yemeni Media Reaction to Secretary

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SANAA 000253

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/PD, NEA/RA, DS/OP/NEA
AND S/CT
CENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PTER KISL YM
SUBJECT: INITIAL YEMENI MEDIA REACTION TO SECRETARY
POWELL'S ADDRESS AT THE UN


NEA/PPD FOR DMACINNES, JGAFFNEY, ACASPER


1.(U) Summary: Very few Yemeni newspapers so far reported
and commented on the Secretary's Wednesday address at the
United Nations Security Council. Al-Thawra, the official
daily, reported excerpts of Powell's speech without
commentary but referred to it in its editorial. Saba News
Agency printed the entire speech in its daily bulletin
today. Al-Ayyam, the main independent paper, reported
excerpts of the speech without any comment. Yemen TV and
Yemen Radio reported some excerpts of the speech
commenting that this is another attempt by the U.S. to
get international support for the attack on Iraq. Yemen
TV invited an Egyptian political analyst to give his
opinion on Powell's speech. He said: "All the evidence
presented by Powell is not new and there are things under
suspicion. This information needs to be tested and
verified." A senior MFA official commented privately to
the Charge that the section of the speech detailing links
between Iraq and al-Qaeda included "important new
information" and was extremely interesting. (End Summary)

2. (U) The following are headlines from Yemeni papers:

Al-Thawra (official daily, Feb.06) carried a headline
which says: "Powell accuses Iraq of hiding weapons and
its links with al-Qaeda; Baghdad describes U.S. evidence
as `cartoon movies'." A sub-headline says: "France and
China support promoting inspection operations with
observation, and Germany adheres to its opposition
against the option of war."

Another sub-headline reads: "A Russian scientist: Baghdad
does not have scientific capability to produce new
chemical weapons."

Still another headline in the same paper declares:
"British intelligence: there is no link between Iraq and
al-Qaeda."

3. (U)Under the title "Flood of War" al-Thawra's
editorial commented on Powell's speech saying: "There is
no disagreement among analysts that many of the scenarios
of the war are ready. What was said in the meeting of the
UN Security Council yesterday was nothing but an
introduction to put these scenarios into effect...War, at
any time, must not be an absolute option. Once a war
breaks out, it will open the doors of hell not only for
the states of the region but for the whole world."

Al-Ayyam (Aden-based independent, Feb.06) carried a
headline which reads: "Powell: About 24 al-Qaeda suspects
are stationed in Baghdad." The sub-headline reads:
"Powell accuses the Jordanian Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi."
The paper reported excerpts of the speech with no other
comment.
MISENHEIMER

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