Cablegate: Mgle01: Italy Insists That Syria Comply with Unsc

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 39018

1. (U) Italy strongly insists, in both public and private
statements, on the complete and swift withdrawal of all
Syrian forces from Lebanon. FM Fini issued a public
statement on March 8 (see para. 2), and our MFA interlocutors
continue to press their Syrian counterparts as well.

2. (U) Begin text of FM Fini's statement. Syria's military
redeployment in the Baka'a Valley is a step in the right
direction if it leads, in a short space of time, to the
complete withdrawal of all Syrian forces (military and sec ret
services) present in Lebanon. Italy, together with all its
EU partners supports the need to fully and unconditionally
implement the Security Council's Resolution 1559, which
foresees the withdrawal of all foreign military forces from
Lebanon, and the disarmament of the armed militias. Lebanon
has to recover its full independence and sovereignty. We
share the current demands of the Lebanese political forces,
which are aimed at the stabilization and reconciliation of
the Middle East region, something Italy has continually
pursued. The worry and fear that the situation in Lebanon
could explode and contaminate the entire region, are leading
Italy to ask Syria for an act of courage in implementing the
Ta'if Agreements and Resolution 1559. Afterwards, Damascus
will be able to reestablish its relationship with Lebanon on
the basis of equality, reciprocal respect and sovereignty,
conscious that the long-standing brotherly relations between
Syria and Lebanon will in any case continue. At Minister
Fini's invitation, the Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister,
Farouk Shara'a, will visit Rome on 6 April. End text.

3. (SBU) Post delivered Reftel demarche to Luca Ferrari, the
head of the MFA's Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, on
March 8. Pol M/C followed up with the MFA Political
Director, Giulio Terzi, on March 9, telling him that the US
welcomed Fini's statement and urging Italy to continue making
public and private statements to Syria along the same firm


2005ROME00795 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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