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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Israel/Lebanon, Syria/Iran,

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #3805/01 2141340
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021340Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0741
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6153
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 3997
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2539
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7193
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1182
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4568
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0787
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6926

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 003805

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: Israel/Lebanon, Syria/Iran,
Syria/China, Syria/Italy, Syria/Iraq (8/2)


1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that President Asad and
Chinese President Jintao exchanged letters of congratulation
marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between the two countries. President Asad expressed
confidence that the relations of friendship and cooperation
between Syria and China would improve consistently. The Chinese
President praised the continuous development of bilateral
relations between the two countries, which support their mutual
interest in stability and development in the region and the
world.

Papers also reported the visit to Italy of Minister of
Information Dr. Mohsen Bilal, who met a number of Italian
dignitaries, to whom he explained Syria's points of view on
solving the current crises in Lebanon and the Palestinian
territories. Bilal reiterated the importance of rallying
international efforts to revive the Middle East peace process on
all tracks. Bilal met with Italian Senator and former Prime
Minister Guilio Anderotti, Chairman of the Foreign Relations
Committee in the Italian House Ranieri Umberto, and member of
the Italian Parliament and Secretary General of the Italian
Communist Party Oliviero Diliberto. The Italian figures
denounced the Israeli massacre in Qana, and expressed worry over
the prolongation of the war in Lebanon. They also confirmed that
"Syria is playing a significant and pivotal role to establish
just and comprehensive peace in the region." Minister Bilal
also met Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, who pressed
Italy's concern about developments in Lebanon and the region, as
well as his country's efforts to find an urgent solution to end
the current crisis.

Papers also reported the visit to Syria by Mahmud Dawudal-
Mashhadani, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, who
confirmed upon his arrival to Damascus that Iraq is an integral
part of the Arab nation, interacting with it, sharing its
concerns, defending its just causes, and always seeking to
support it in crises and hardship and to confront the threats
facing it. Al-Mashhadani said that he was visiting Syria because
of the current situation in the region, especially the barbaric
Israeli aggression on Lebanon and Israeli threats against Syria.
He stressed that "Iraq's security is part of the region's
security, which is an integrated whole. Iraq wants to remain in
contact with its brothers and share common concerns." "There is
a hostile plan to tear Iraq apart and push it to the brink of
civil war, in order to abort the accomplishments that the Iraqi
resistance has made." Al-Mashhadani described the US presence in
Iraq as temporary. He added: "We count on the Iraqi parliament to
end the occupation and wrest back sovereignty, for the parliament
represents the sentiments of the Iraqi people and must rise to
the level of these sentiments so that Iraq and Syria will return
to what they always were and restore the Arab nation's pride,
strength, and intellectual, geographic, and security
harmony. Iraq will not allow itself to serve as a base exporting
harm to fraternal Syria." Mahmud al-Abrash, Speaker of the
People's Assembly, received Al-Mashhadani, saying that his visit
to Syria "is a basic and important step in an expected historic
transformation in the relations between the two sisterly
countries."

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"President Asad reviews with Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki
developments of the Israeli aggression and stresses solidarity
with Lebanese steadfastness and the brave resistance" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 8/2)

"President Asad and Chinese President Jintao exchange letters of
congratulation on the 50th anniversary of establishment of
diplomatic relations between their countries, stressing
continuing cooperation" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/2)

"Al-Mashhadani, Speaker of Iraqi Parliament, visits Damascus. Al-
Abrash, Speaker of Syrian People's Assembly: Syria supports
Iraq's territorial integrity." Al-Mashhadani: A plan to fragment

Iraq and foil achievements of the resistance" (Government-owned
Al-Thawra, 8/2)

"Italian Prime Minister Prodi discusses with Information Minister
Bilal means of tackling the crisis in Lebanon and the region.
Prodi: Withdrawal from Sheba Farms is a prelude to withdrawal
from the Golan" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 8/2)

"Over 35 Israeli soldiers killed and wounded in clashes with the
Lebanese resistance fighters in Aita al-Shaab. President Lahoud:
Lebanon will not surrender. Foreign Minister Salloukh: We are
coordinating with Syria." (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 8/2)

"Qatar criticizes some Arab countries' support of the Israeli
aggression against Lebanon" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/2)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"Yawning in front of Children's Bodies"

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

Ali Qasim, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(8/2): "The grief the US secretary of State expressed over
Israel's killing of civilians in the southern Lebanese village
of Qana was nothing but evidence of US disdain for the
sentiments of the peoples and countries of the world, as she
could not bother to utter a word condemning the horrible Israeli
crime after the American rejection of a cease-fire led to this
new Israeli massacre....

"President Bush showed more disdain when he said that the
Israeli crime was not a war crime.... The American position in
the Security Council frustrated hopes for an immediate cease-
fire....

"It is obvious that the American position, which conflicted with
all international positions, without exception, is aimed at
containing the effects that the Israeli crime has left on the
world public and engaging in new efforts to use the aggression
to achieve objectives that Israel failed to achieve
militarily....

"The problem is that Arab inaction persists while Arab blood
continues to flow and the United States continues to work for a
new Middle East serving its own agenda...."

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

"Dirty Conspiracy"

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

Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owed Tishreen, wrote
(8/2): "The international conspiracy against Lebanon and the
Lebanese has been exposed.... Israel is given more time to score
political achievements on the ground after it has failed to
achieve anything militarily that could be used as a staging
point for the New Middle East which Condoleezza Rice has
promised....

"They want to crush Lebanon and set fire to what remains of its
human and material components through a vicious civil war that
will be followed by direct international intervention. The
dispatch of international military forces will turn Lebanon into
an occupied country robbed of its national will. It will turn
Lebanon into a base for other attacks to extend hegemony in the
region based on this new colonialist plan....

"One of the positive results of the war in Lebanon is that it
has unified the Lebanese against the enemy of Lebanon and the
nation.... Another positive result is that it has exposed the
American policy and US claims about human rights, freedom, and
democracy...."


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

"A Massacre with US Cover"
-----------------------------

Bassam Radwan, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(8/2): "The whole world has seen the extent of American
involvement in the Israeli aggression against Lebanon through
the unlimited military, political, and material support for
Israel. But the war has not developed as Washington and Tel
Aviv wanted.... The Lebanese national resistance, represented by
Hizbollah, has demonstrated ability, resolve, courage, and
discipline that exceed all the expectations of the
aggressors....

"Israel's escape, thanks to US pressure, from punishment and
international condemnation at the UN Security Council for its
massacre in Qana is the most obvious image of US support for
Israel and its full adoption of this war by reducing its cost
for the Zionist entity....

".... Condoleezza Rice is returning to the region soon to bring
the Israelis out of their crisis and the deadlock they have
reached."

Corbin

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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