Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Oic Ministerial, Syria/Serbia,


DE RUEHDM #3019/01 1721411
O 211411Z JUN 06





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: OIC Ministerial, Syria/Serbia,
Lebanon, Iraq, Palestinian Territories (6/21)

1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that FM Walid al-Moallem
discussed with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul regional
topics of joint concern and issues on the agenda of the 33rd
session of OIC Foreign Ministers meeting held in Baku. During a
meeting held on the margin of the OIC Ministerial, both
ministers concentrated on bilateral relations between Syria and
Turkey. FM Gul expressed his country's satisfaction with the
current progress of Syrian-Turkish relations. In a meeting with
Bahraini FM Khaled bin Mohammed al-Khaleifa, FM al-Moalem
reviewed topics that were discussed during a meeting between
President Asad and Bahraini King Hamad bin Issa al-Khaleifa
recently in Damascus. The Foreign Minister also discussed with
Iranian FM Manouchehr Mottaki issues on the agenda of the OIC
Ministerial and issues that will be touched upon in the Iraq
neighboring countries' meeting to be held in Tehran on July 8th.
Al-Moallem also reviewed with Jordanian FM Abdulilah al-Khatib
bilateral relations between Syria and Jordan in light of current
preparations for the Syrian-Jordanian Joint Higher Committee in

In an address before the Ministerial Conference of the OIC, Mr.
al-Moallem said that since the events of September 11, the world
has been witnessing a clear exploitation of these events in the
service of U.S. interests and its policy of hegemony, under the
pretext of fighting terrorism by linking it to Islam, without
distinguishing between terrorism and the right of resisting
occupation, as well as not tackling the true reasons of
terrorism, which are poverty, negligence and occupation. He
added that the U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and their
repercussions on the Middle East have led to more tension and
chaos in the region and deadlock in the peace process. He also
reiterated Syria's support for the Iraqi people's aspirations to
achieve national reconciliation through the conference of accord
and reconciliation scheduled to be held in Baghdad soon, with
the participation of all Iraqi political parties. He criticized
international pressures on Iran due to its peaceful nuclear
program, adding that "such pressure reiterates once again the
unjust approach and double-standard policy pursued by Western
circles, which dominate international resolutions on the issues
of our region and are deliberately indifferent to the real
dangers of the Israeli nuclear arsenal for the security and
stability in the region." Mr. al-Moallem expressed Syria's
support of Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy,
and the right of the states of the region to guarantees in this
regard, renewing Syria's demand to make the Middle East a region
free of WMD.

Papers also reported that Abdullah al-Ahmar, Assistant Secretary
General of the al-Baath Arab Party, met with a delegation from
the Serbian Radical party headed by its First Deputy leader,
Tomslav Nicolic. Talks focused on the latest developments in the
Middle East and the Balkans, pressures against Syria and
policies of hegemony and intervention in the internal affairs of
other countries. The two sides expressed identical points of
view about these developments, stressing that a just and
comprehensive peace cannot be established in the Middle East
without total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab
territories, including the Syrian Golan, the Palestinian
territories and Lebanese Shebaa Farms. Both sides also stressed
that the war on Iraq and the occupation of the country have
resulted in a state of chaos, insecurity and more suffering for
the Iraqi people, stressing that ending the occupation and the
success of the political process will help Iraqis build their
own future and unity without foreign intervention. Mr. Nicolic
stressed his Party's and people's solidarity with the struggle
led by Syria to restore its land and rights in the Golan and to
establish a just and comprehensive peace based on legitimate
international resolutions. He also asserted his rejection of
pressure on Syria, pointing out that this would not force Syria
to abandon its main role in the region or its national rights
and stances.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"Al-Moallem addresses the OIC Conference: Syria is targeted
because of its resistance of hegemony and foreign intervention.
Moallem meets with Turkish FM Gul, Bahraini FM Khaled bin
Mohammed al-Khaleifa, Iranian FM Mottaki and Jordanian FM Al-

Khatib" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/21)
"Three Palestinian children victimized, 14 injured by a new
Israeli aggression against Gaza. Israel plays down the Olmert-
Abbas meeting in Jordan" (Government-owned Tishreen, 6/21)

"Lebanese circles: The Mossad network, eradicated in Lebanon, is
linked to all explosions in Lebanon" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,

"Japan announces withdrawal of its forces from Iraq. Two plans by
Democrats in the US Senate to reduce forces in Iraq" (Government-
owned Al-Thawra, 6/21)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:


"'Slanderers' Point of View"


Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (6/21): "The discovery in Lebanon of a network linked
to the Israeli Mossad is a very big and important achievement,
as it has opened the eyes of the Lebanese to the conspiracy
against their country....

"The majority of Lebanese have immediately determined, following
the arrest of the Mossad agents, that Israel is Lebanon's number
one enemy.... The majority of Lebanese realize quite well that
Lebanon is targeted by direct aggression. Those who are trying
to neutralize Lebanon in the conflict with the Israeli enemy
adopt a logic that conflicts with the facts of history and
geography and ignores the expansionist Zionist-American danger
in the region."

"A sincere national will and a defense strategy must be
formulated on the basis of cooperation between the Lebanese Army
and the resistance...."


"Between the Gaza and Al-Haditha Massacres"


Abd-al-Fattah al-Awad, chief editor of government-owned Al-
Thawra, commented (6/21): "Israeli massacres in Gaza are
paralleled by US massacres in Iraq....

"There is a competition between Israel and the United States for
the more brutal role.... Israel commits its crimes with cover
from other crimes committed by the United States in a nearby
country.... The United States, which is used to making others
wage wars on its behalf, has found itself now waging wars on
behalf of others and for their sake, and, what is worse, against
its own interests....

"Arabs are doing nothing because rejecting Israeli actions means
rejecting US actions.... And few can reject US action these

"It cannot be claimed that Syria was intimidated by US threats.
It was able to read the facts correctly, without fear, deception
or recklessness. At a time when Syria is being advised to
change its principles due to new developments in the region and
to read the new facts, Syria can now tell others to reconsider
the new developments.... Syria takes pride in its positions and
its correct reading of the situation."


"When Mistakes Accumulate"


Ali Qasim, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(6/21): "The European mechanism to deliver aid to the
Palestinians stems not from a desire to alleviate the
Palestinian suffering, but from recognition of the mistake,
which has reached the level of sin, made when Europeans decided
to punish the Palestinians because of their democratic

"The EU mechanism, which was approved by the international
quartet, does not necessarily mean Europeans and Americans have
found solutions to the problem they created for themselves. It
is, rather, an acknowledgement that the punitive position
against Palestinians has cast its negative shadow on available

"The entire European exercise is part of the frenzied effort to
pressure the Palestinians and to use aid and mechanisms for its
delivery as part of that pressure, through the creation of a
rift in the Palestinian social reality.... Europeans and
Americans will finally be forced to submit to the Palestinian
people's choices and accept what they have accepted and


"The Pentagon and the Culture of Massacres"


Salim Abbud, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(6/21): "Arrivals from Iraq stress that the criminal acts that
the Marines have committed against Iraqis are actually more
appalling than what the media outlets report from time to time.
The occupation authorities impose a blackout on the media to
hide these American crimes, which have become recurrent American
conduct. All Iraqi cities, from Hadithah to Al-Fallujah, Al-
Qa'im, Tall Afar, Al-Najaf, Samarra, Al-Ramadi, Basra, Kirkuk,
and Mosul are scenes of crimes of killing and destruction that
Rumsfeld's soldiers are committing. These repeated crimes leave
victims among children, women, men, old people, and houses. They
have surpassed all the crimes that Iraq has witnessed throughout
its history and in all ages....

"The American military establishment embraces the culture of
massacres, which is an old culture officially adopted by the
Pentagon.... The majority of bombings against civilians in Iraq
are the product of US intelligence and the Israeli Mossad...."


"Language of Force and Language of Dialogue"


Isam Dari, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(6/21): "Four years of US wars on terrorism have proved that
force alone, no matter how mighty, cannot eliminate terror and
achieve security and stability in the world.

"The Bush administration could have used the sympathy of
countries and peoples of the world after the 9/11 events to
create an appropriate international climate to uproot

"Dialogue could have produced positive results that the language
of force cannot possibly produce.... But this is the only logic
that the Bush administration adopts. The only language that this
administration masters is the language of military force,
intransigence, and arrogance. As a result, it is paying dearly
with the United States' reputation and status...."


"What Will Wash off US Sins?"
Samir Abd-al-Rahman, a columnist in government-owned Al-Ba'th,
wrote (6/21): "The American story about the suicide of three
Guantanamo inmates appears closer to a big lie than to the
truth. The aim of this lie is to cover up the violation of all
international laws and conventions by U.S. prison authorities,
who invent the worst and filthiest investigation methods,
leading to the death of detainees under torture....

"US authorities might close down the Guantanamo prison, but what
will wash off US sins and human rights violations in US
detention camps at a time when the scandal of the CIA secret
prisons is reverberating throughout Europe and in other parts of
the world, and the scandals of Abu Ghurayb are revived every day
by new images of American soldiers abusing inmates...?"


© Scoop Media

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