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Cablegate: Lebanese Figure Visits Algiers, Thanks Goa for Its

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAS #1373 2051400
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241400Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1662
INFO RUEHXX/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ALGIERS 001373

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AG IS LE
SUBJECT: LEBANESE FIGURE VISITS ALGIERS, THANKS GOA FOR ITS
SUPPORT

REF: A. ALGIERS 1360

B. ALGIERS 1311
C. ALGIERS 1305


HARIRI THANKS GOA; RECEIVES SUPPORT FOR CEASE-FIRE
--------------------------------------------- ------

1. (U) Saad Hariri, the leader of the largest political party
represented in the Lebanese parliament and son of the slain Lebanese
prime minister, visited Algiers July 23. In public remarks reported by
the press, he thanked "Algeria, its president and head of government fo
their support" and underscored that Algeria was "the first country to
have supported Lebanon and rapidly sent aid." After his meeting with
President Bouteflika, Hariri told the press he had asked Bouteflika to
use his influence to establish a cease-fire in Lebanon. (Note:
President Bouteflika made no public remarks following the meeting. End
Note.)

2. (U) After his earlier meeting with Hariri, Prime Minister Belkhadem
remarked to the press that the Israeli aggression against Lebanon was
"strongly supported by permanent members of the Security Council."
Belkhadem called on the international community to act to stop the
bloodshed. He added that a solution was not within the purview of an
Arab League Summit meeting but rather through bringing "the Security
Council to make decisions to put a stop to the [Israeli] aggression."
Belkhadem characterized the "Israeli aggression" as "unacceptable and
unjustifiable."

3. (U) MFA separately released a statement July 23 calling on the
international community to "abandon its silence of complicity in which
it has taken refuge" and "condemn without complacency the Israeli
aggression against Lebanon." The statement, which made reference to
recent remarks given in New York by Algeria's permanent representative
to the UN, Youcef Yousfi, called for "imposing an unconditional
immediate cease-fire" in order to find a "fair and lasting" solution to
the crisis in the Middle East.

DEMONSTRATIONS EXPECTED AROUND THE COUNTRY,
BUT NOT IN ALGIERS, OVER THE WEEKEND
------------------------------------------

4. (U) While post is unaware of any demonstrations or rallies planned
for the local July 27-28 weekend (see Ref A) in the capital, Embassy
contacts report that the main political parties are expected to organiz
rallies and demonstrations in cities around the country. (Note: Under
the Emergency Law, demonstrations are not allowed in the capital but ar
permitted elsewhere. End Note.)

INDEPENDENT PRESS CALLS FOR BOYCOTT OF PRESS EVENT
ABOARD VISITING COAST GUARD VESSEL
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. (SBU) Post also notes that a long list of journalists signed a
petition, as reported in the July 24 press, calling for a boycott of
the press conference scheduled to take place July 27 near Algiers aboar
the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Northland in "solidarity with Lebanon and
Palestine...to denounce...the Israeli aggression against the Lebanese
people." State media have told PAO that they will participate in the
press conference, but it appears likely that the independent media will
largely respect the boycott and stay away from the event.


SIEVERS

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