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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Brammertz Report,

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #2877/01 1691022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181022Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9710
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6034
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 3893
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2410
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7093
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1080
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4468
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0691
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6830

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 002877

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/S:STHIBEAULT AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, DBENZE AND
AFERNANDEZ, IIP/G/NEA-SA RWINCHESTER
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Brammertz Report,
Syria/Palestinians, Iraq, Lebanon (6/15)


1. Summary: Syrian papers reported an address by Deputy Foreign
Minister Faisal Miqdad to the UN Security Council at a session
about the latest Brammertz report. Miqdad confirmed Syrian
cooperation with the UN investigation into the killing of former
Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. Dr. Miqdad said, "we have been
informed about the content of Mr. Brammertz' report and believe
that it is distinguished by its objectivity and professionalism,
and that it contains positive signs about Syria's efforts to
cooperate with the committee and about Syria's response to all
demands of the committee." Miqdad added that the report includes
a provisional description and explanation of the technical
efforts of the committee, with respect to the crime scene and
those related to its instruments. Miqdad said he hoped the
investigation, with its new face, would lead to revelation of
the truth about the crime. "In this respect, we reiterate what
we have mentioned previously, that the most dangerous thing this
investigation faces is the attempt of parties inside and outside
our region to exploit the process to jump to conclusions that
are not based on firm proof and evidence," Miqdad said.

Papers also reported that Vice-President Farouk Shara discussed
with Farouk Qaddoumi, Secretary of the Fatah Movement, the
latest developments in the Palestinian arena under mounting
internal tension and foreign siege. Mr. Qaddoumi briefed Mr.
Shara on the results of his meetings with the Palestinian
leadership in Tunisia. The vice-President reiterated Syria's
call for all the Palestinian factions to participate in a
constructive national dialogue. In a press statement following
his meeting with Shara, Mr. Qaddoumi said, "we discussed with
Mr. Shara the Palestinian issue and the existing tension which
has been exploited by Israel to escalate its aggression against
the Palestinian people." He added that the steadfast Palestinian
people inside the occupied Palestinian territories are
discontented with the existing tensions between the two main
Palestinian factions. The Palestinian official said: "We have to
abandon everything that could disrupt inter-Palestinian
relations."

All papers reported a statement by The Civil Association for Lost
Syrians in Lebanon that listed the names of 377 Syrians who have
been exposed to intentional damage by Lebanese security entities,
including assaults and arrests, noting at the same time to
presence of 1079 lost Syrians in Lebanon. The association
underlined that "some Syrian citizens have been exposed to
physical and moral attacks by Lebanese security and some
individuals, motivated by a few politicians, have turned their
hate for Syria into a profession and have become instruments in
the hands of foreign parties planning to spread chaos and
instability in the Arab region." The statement urged the
Lebanese government "to play its role to protect Syrians in
Lebanon according to international law and norms." The
association called upon the Lebanese government to help pursue
this issue before the Lebanese judiciary, in order to punish
perpetrators.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"The UN Security Council debates Brammertz report. Miqdad:
Syria's cooperation arises from full interest in exposing the
truth. Syria's support accords with standards of international
criminal investigation and examination of false testimony"
(Government-owned Tishreen 6/15)

"377 Syrians are exposed to physical and moral maltreatment in
Lebanon" (Government-owned Tisrheen, 6/15)

"In the wake of exposure of the Mossad network, Lebanese circles
confirm: The failure of some Lebanese to regard Israel as an
enemy paves the way for Mossad activities in Lebanon to prosper"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 6/15)

"Al-Shara discusses developments in the Palestinian arena with
Farouk al-Qaddoumi: Syria supports a Palestinian national
dialogue" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/15)


"Olmert is received with protest demonstrations in Paris. Hamas
is ready for a long-term ceasefire on condition of full Israeli
pullout" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/15)

"Al-Maliki unleashes a major security crackdown in Baghdad and
expresses readiness to hold dialogue with insurgents. Bush
ignores withdrawal and calls for 'an alliance for
reconstruction'" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/15)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

----------------------

"No Place for Dispute"

----------------------

Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (6/15): "We warn against the consequences of
Palestinian rifts while Palestinians are suffering from siege
and Israeli terrorism....

"The current situation in the occupied Arab territories is
delicate and sensitive.... Palestinians must consolidate their
national unity and cohesion of their political work in
cooperation with the elected government. This should be the top
priority for the Palestinian people....

"It is also important to exclude any contentious issue, such as
the referendum, over which there is controversy, when there are
many priorities on which all efforts must focus, such as ways to
confront the siege, starvation, and Israeli incursions, and
inform the world of the difficult situation and the conspiracy
that seeks to uproot the Palestinians and torpedo the elements
of their existence and the possibility of the establishment of
an independent state...."

-------------------------------

"A Visit to Contain the Defeat"

-------------------------------

Jamal al-Zu'bi, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Ba'th,
commented (6/15): "US President George Bush made his unexpected
visit to Baghdad hours after the end of his war council in Camp
David. He wanted to salute his 'brave' soldiers, who are skilled
at the killing of women and children in Hadithah, Al-Ishaqi,
Ba'qubah, and Al-Fallujah. But faced with a growing number of
civilian deaths resulting from war crimes committed by troops
with low morale, and with the risk of the infamous invasion
igniting a civil war in Iraq, Bush will not be able to remove
the shame he has brought upon his troops. No visit can contain
the damage. For these crimes cannot be seen as isolated acts by
a number of corrupt individuals....

"When the United States talks at great length about democracy
and freedom in the world and claims to be concerned about them,
it has in mind only one specific thing: the democracy that
serves the interests of the United States and those who are
loyal or subservient to it. But when it comes to any opposition
force, it is acceptable, indeed essential, as far as the United
States is concerned, to repress this force and violate its
rights. The aim is to intimidate the world into accepting
American hegemony...."

--------------------------------------------- ---
"Before and After 'The Dawn Surprise' Operation"

--------------------------------------------- ---

Isam Dari, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(6/15): "It was announced in Lebanon that a spy ring linked to
the Israeli Mosad and involved in assassinations of Hizbollah

and Palestinian figures in the past few years has been
uncovered. Lebanese Army intelligence has the right to feel
proud of this achievement because, through the discovery of the
network, it has proved its high competence and, more
importantly, saved the Lebanese from potential acts of terrorism
and sabotage.

"The discovery of the group came as a surprise to some who liked
the game of hiding behind terrorist and criminal operations in
Lebanon to harm Syria, tarnish its image, and make accusations
against it.... It also came as a surprise to those who call for
disarming the resistance and exposing Lebanon to Israeli
aggression....

"Israeli spy networks have operated in Lebanon for a long
time.... The Israeli factor must not be ignored in all the
crimes that have been committed, from the assassination of Rafiq
al-Hariri to this day...."

Seche

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