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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Palestinians, Oic

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DE RUEHDM #2975/01 1711311
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201311Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9821
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6042
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 3901
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2428
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7099
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1088
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4474
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0697
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6836

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 002975

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: Syria/Palestinians, OIC
Ministerial, Syria/Italy, Lebanon, Iraq (6/19-20)


1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that Vice President Farouk
al-Shara discussed the latest developments in the occupied
Palestinian territories and the ongoing national dialogue
between Palestine factions with a Palestinian delegation headed
by Khaled Meshal, Head of the Hamas Politburo. Mr. Shara
stressed the importance of making the nat
ional dialogue a
success and reaching common ground based on national principles
that ensure the Palestinian right of return and the
establishment of an independent state. He also reiterated
Syria's full support of any offer that may contribute to
enhancing Palestinian unity. Both sides stressed the importance
of moving on the bilateral and Arab levels to break the unjust
siege imposed on the Palestine people. Meshal expressed hope
that the Palestinian national dialogue will produce positive
steps.

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Papers also reported the 33rd ministerial meeting of the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Baku, Azerbaijan,
with the participation of Syria. Foreign Minister Walid al-
Mouallem, heading an official delegation, represents Syria at the
meetings. In an opening speech, the President of Azerbaijan,
Ilham Aliyev, stressed the necessity of enhancing cooperation and
coordination among the OIC member states in facing present
challenges. He pointed out the importance of clearing up the true
image of Islam, based on justice, tolerance and coexistence among
different peoples. A number of Arab and Islamic Foreign
Ministers are participating in the meetings.
Papers also reported a statement to SANA by Massimo Dalima,
Italian Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, stressing the
importance of Syria's role in establishing peace and security in
the Middle East, saying that the new Italian government is
willing to boost and enhance existing cooperation with Syria in
all fields. Mr. Dalima described bilateral relations between
Syria and Italy as excellent, saying that Italy is linked to
Syria by very excellent ties in the economic and culture fields.
Mr. Dalima added that Italy is committed to working side by side
with the Syrian government and is very interested in developing
and boosting existing relations with Syria. He also expressed his
country's willingness to become directly involved in the process
of establishing peace in the region. Answering a question about
his forthcoming tour of the Middle East, Mr. Dalima said
preparations are underway to outline the special agenda of the
tour in the framework of Italy's willingness to play its role in
establishing peace in the Middle East. He expressed hope that the
peace process could be resumed on all tracks, saying that Syria
is a central player in establishing the sought-for peace in the
region, which is an important issue for which both Italy and
Syria have worked for years.
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:

"Shara confers with Meshal, Head of Hamas Politburo. Talks focus
on the importance of making the Palestinian National dialogue a
success" (Government-owned TIshreen, 6/20)

"Italian Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Massimo Dalima: We
are determined to develop relations with Syria and committed to
work to cement peace in the region" (Government-owned Tishreen,
6/20)

"Israeli Prime Minister Olmert rejects international
investigation of the Gaza beach massacre. Palestinians are
optimistic about a national unity government. The Quartet
endorses European mechanisms for aid to Palestinians" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 6/19)

"Foreign Minister of the OIC calls on the Red Cross and Red
Crescent to shoulder responsibility in the Palestinian
territories" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/20)

"The EU Commissioner Valdner casts doubts on Israel's unilateral
plans. Progress in the Palestinian National Dialogue. Fatah and
Hamas representatives call upon participants in the dialogue to
shoulder their responsibility" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/20)

"Lebanon awaits the end of the investigation on the Mossad

network in Lebanon to refer the file to the Security Council"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/20)

"The Free Patriotic Movement in Lebanon calls for toppling the
government. The Amal Movement: Uncovering the Israeli spying
network is a blow against sedition" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,
6/19)

"President Asad reviews Syria's policy and bilateral relations
with a Romanian Parliamentary delegation" (Government-owned Al-
Thawra, 6/19)

"At the Conference of Arab-American Committee for Combating
Discrimination, Minister of Expatriates Shabaan: Coexistence and
religious tolerance are characteristic of peoples of the
region.... Violence and extremism are the result of double
standards" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/19)

"A massive US military operation in al-Ramadi. Violence continues
in Baghdad" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/19)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"The Source of Syria's Power"

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

Muhammad Khair al-Jammali, an editorialist in government-owned
Al-Thawrah, commented (6/19): "In its contemporary history,
Syria has experienced extremely delicate and dangerous
circumstances, dealt with extremely difficult and complicated
regional and international crises, and addressed many issues. In
its approach to those circumstances, crises, and issues, it did
not make mistakes in determining their backgrounds and serious
repercussions on the stability of the region and international
peace. It was the others who wrongly read events and crises....
Others always realized, later, that Syria was right in its
positions. This happened in Syria's approach to the issue of
terrorism and its positions on the Iraq-Iran war, the war on
Iraq, and developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"Thanks to this clear vision and position and adherence to
principles, and to national cohesion and the people's support
for President Asad and his development policy, Syria will remain
strong, not shaken by the winds of treachery and plotting and
not affected by the storms of pressure, no matter how strong
they may be...."

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

"Volume of Penetration"

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

Umar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (6/19): "The exposure of the Mossad network in Lebanon
was a clear message to those who are being unfair to the weapons
of the national resistance. The message says that Israel is
still enemy number one of Lebanon and the Lebanese....

"The Israeli infiltration into Lebanon was apparently not small.
It shows that Lebanon is still a target for Israel and that
Resolution 425 is still not fully implemented, in light of the
occupation and the failure of the United Nations to stop the
continuous harassment and aggression on Lebanese
sovereignty...."


---------

"Reviews"

---------

Izz-al-Din al-Darwish, an editorialist in government-owned
Tishreen, commented (6/19): "Israel has been, is and will be
Lebanon's only enemy, in the past, present and future. As such,
it harbors nothing but evil and treachery for the Lebanese....
It is surprising that while members of the Mossad network that
was uncovered in Lebanon confess to involvement in
assassinations and bombings, some [Lebanese] are defending
Israel and promoting the possibility of peace with it on the
basis of American promises to a Lebanon of the future....

"Developments in Lebanon since the assassination of former Prime
Minister Rafiq al-Hariri are part of a carefully worked out plan
seeking to create a rift between Lebanon and Syria and disarm
the Lebanese resistance....

"The crime of the Al-Hariri assassination was certainly part of
that plan.... Israel wants not only to keep Lebanon away from
Syria but also to take revenge against the Lebanese national
resistance and prepare the Lebanese arena for sedition and for
security and political havoc. In this, it benefits from the UN
Security Council resolutions on Syrian-Lebanese relations,
resolutions that are, in fact, American-Israeli resolutions....
The discovery of the Mossad-affiliated network highlights the
role and importance of the resistance as Lebanon's strongest
weapon against Israeli aggression."

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

"Palestinian National Dialogue"

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

Muhammad al-Khadir, a commentator in government-owned Al-Ba'th,
wrote (6/19): "Any Palestinian civil strife helps Israel to free
itself from the resistance and continue its hostile plan of
killing field leaders of the resistance, swallowing up the land,
and convincing the world of the 'soundness' of its unilateral
withdrawal plan amid the Palestinians' preoccupation with their
differences....

"The Palestinian national dialogue must continue until results
are achieved because the current splits serve only Israel and
its plans...."

Seche

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