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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Lebanon, Syria/Qatar,

VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #3863/01 2191318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071318Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0810
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6161
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4005
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2554
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7199
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1189
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4574
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0793
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6932

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 003863

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/Lebanon, Syria/Qatar,
Syria/Iraq, Israeli operation in Lebanon (8/7)


1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that President Asad has sent
a message of support and solidarity to Lebanese President
Lahoud, conveyed by Foreign Minister Waleed al-Mouallem, to
confirm Syria's solidarity with and support of the steadfastness
of the Lebanese people and the national resistance. FM Mouallem
will attend the Arab Foreign Ministers' meeting scheduled in
Beirut on August 7. Papers also featured FM Mouallem's statement
following his meetings on August 6 with Lebanese President
Lahoud, PM al-Saniora and Parliament Speaker Berri. Mouallem
pointed out that the US-French draft Security Council resolution
aims to save Israeli from its military defeat by extracting
political gains from the Lebanese people and resistance. He
described the draft resolution as "bad and unjust for Lebanon."
Mouallem also said that "the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting must
voice support for the Lebanese national resistance in the face
of the brutal Israeli aggression." He said that the Lebanese
resistance has broken the claim of Israeli military superiority,
stressing that "a people armed with the will of resistance will
inevitably emerge victorious." Answering a question on the
possibility that Israel could expand the scope of its
aggression, Minister Mouallem said that "Syria will react
directly and firmly to any Israeli aggression on its land."

Papers also reported that President Asad has received a phone
call from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that focused on the
results of contacts and discussions to end the Israeli
aggression. President Asad confirmed that Syria supports
everything on which the Lebanese agree. He also stressed that
"any resolution adopted without unanimous Lebanese agreement
will complicate things and increase unrest." He pointed out that
"some forces are seeking to achieve political gains for Israel,
which failed to achieve them through war. This endeavor will not
succeed," he said.

Papers also featured President Asad's meeting with Hamad Bin-
Jasim Bin-Jabr Al Thani, Qatari First Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister, which focused on developments in Lebanon, the
upcoming Arab Foreign Ministers' meeting in Beirut and bilateral
relations.

President Asad also received Amer Mousa, Secretary General of
the Arab League. Talks focused on the continuing Israeli assault
against Lebanon and means of supporting Lebanese resolve. The
meeting dealt with the upcoming Arab foreign ministers' meeting
in Beirut and ongoing international and Arab efforts to bring
about a cease-fire.

On Syrian-Iraqi relations, papers reported that Dr. Mahmoud al-
Abrash, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, and his Iraqi
counterpart, Dr. Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, signed an agreement for
parliamentary cooperation. Speaker Mashhadani expressed hope
that fraternal relations would be enhanced on all levels between
the people of Syria and Iraq, for their mutual benefit. For his
part, Dr. al-Abrash stated that "the visit of the Iraqi
delegation was successful by all measures and represents a
qualitative turning point and the beginning of a historical
change in relations between Syria and Iraq. He stressed the need
to improve relations at all levels to meet the aspirations of
both countries.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"A message of support and solidarity from President Assd to
Lebanese President Lahoud. Foreign Minister al-Mouallem: National
resistance breaks the illusion of Israeli military supremacy...
The American-French draft UNSC resolution aims to save Israel
from its military defeat and achieve political gains... Syria
calls for unified Arab position in supporting Lebanon and its
brave resistance... Syria will definitely and directly respond to
any Israeli aggression against its lands" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 8/7)

"President Asad confirms to UN SecGen Annan that Syria supports
the Lebanese consensus. President Asad discusses developments in

Lebanon and the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting in Beirut with
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jaber Al Thani and Arab
League Secretary General" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/7)

"Arab Foreign Ministers confer in Beirut today to support
Lebanon's position. Speaker of Lebanese Parliament Berri
announces Lebanon's rejection of the vicious American-French UNSC
draft resolution" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/7)

"The Lebanese national resistance shells an Israeli military post
and Haifa, injuring and killing scores of Israelis" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 8/7)

"Former Lebanese MP Wakim: The American-French project is a pure
Israeli decision" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 8/7)

"Speaker of the Syrian Parliament al-Abrash and his Iraqi
counterpart al-Mashhadani sign a parliamentary cooperation
agreement" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/7)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"Democracy of Massacres"

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

Abd-al-Fattah al-Awad, Chief Editor of government-owned Al-
Thawra, said (8/7): "The United States, which keeps delaying a
cease-fire in Lebanon, cannot claim to be a champion of
democracy and human rights....

"The international community has shown complete impotence. This
was first evident at the Rome conference. It was then evident in
the fact that the successive Israeli massacres passed without
even a condemnation. And it is blatantly evident in the failure
to stop the Israeli aggression. All this is a result of insolent
American orders. The United States is not trying to hide its
objectives, even if they conflict with the most fundamental
rules of the international community....

"Some Arab countries helped and promoted US concepts and played
the role they were asked to play.... Those countries were not
embarrassed before their peoples when they heard Olmert rely on
their positions to justify the continuation of the aggression
and expose secret contacts and talks that the Israelis no longer
keep under the table. There is mounting support for the
resistance in all Arab counties.... This will foil all US plans
for the region.... All Arab regimes must stop moving in the
wrong direction and must use language that brings them closer to
their peoples...."

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

"Has Chavez' Message Reached Arab Regimes?"

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

Ali Nasrallah, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (8/7): "Venezuelan President Chavez has decided to recall
his country's ambassador in Tel Aviv to protest the Israeli
aggression against Lebanon and Palestine. This makes us wonder
about the reasons that make some official Arab regimes show such
impotence toward the open aggression against Lebanon and
Palestine and toward the American occupation and its designs in
Iraq....

"We hope that Chavez' message will reach the Arab regimes that
criticized the national Lebanese resistance and have felt
content with sending a bit of aid to Lebanon....

"The terrorist Israeli-American massacres in Lebanon, Palestine,
and Iraq are [part of] a real war between a people seeking
freedom and resisting, with the bodies of its children and youth
and whatever tools are available for them, the powers of

occupation and terrorism, and terrorist colonial forces against
whom all cards of power and available weapons must be used."

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

"Only Arab Solidarity Can Curb Aggression"

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

Muhammad al-Khadir, a commentator in government-owned Al-Ba'th,
wrote (8/7): "Only Arab solidarity can curb the Israeli
aggression against Lebanon. We deplore world silence on the
massacre that Israel perpetrated in the Lebanese village of Al-
Qaa, that killed approximately 33 Lebanese and Syrian workers in
an air strike....

"If they are willing, Arabs can do much, given the pressure
cards they have, especially in the face of Washington. If the
past few weeks showed that Arabs were divided and fragmented,
the next few days require that they return to at least a minimum
level of solidarity. They must be aware of the danger of the
American effort to promote deployment of forces that will disarm
the resistance. Through this, Washington once again seeks to
help Israel achieve what it has failed to achieve on the
battlefield...."

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

"Syrian People's Message to Low and Rancorous Lebanese Parties"

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

Khalaf al-Jarrad, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (8/7): "While Syria mobilizes all its capabilities on all
levels to extend all support to the Lebanese government and
Lebanese people, we are surprised by some malicious Lebanese
leaders who are accusing Syria of playing a negative role in
Lebanon and trying to return to Lebanon through the blood of the
Lebanese....

"We remind these spiteful parties of Syria's efforts to support
Lebanon and the Lebanese.... They are betraying the Lebanese
people and implementing foreign orders to eliminate the Lebanese
resistance.... We confirm to these rancorous Lebanese and to
their masters that Syria will not stop its full support for the
Arab resistance everywhere or abandon its principled and pan-
Arab positions. Syria will remain the steadfast Arab fortress in
the face of the colonial schemes and the defender of Arab
identity, dignity, and rights. We will never abandon this
position, and we will not be frightened by threats from any
party and under any name or excuse...."

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

"Towards a Resisting Middle East"

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

Ahmad Burghul, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, said
(8/7): "The new Middle East that Washington hopes for will not
be a plan for promoting democracy and freedom, as some people
imagine, but a plan for spreading destruction and chaos. It will
not be a plan for promoting justice and returning usurped
rights, but a plan for imposing Israeli hegemony and despotism
on the peoples of the region....

"Despite Israeli massacres, the resistance will continue and the
war in Lebanon will not end in favor of the Middle East that
Washington wants, but in favor of a Middle East characterized by
resistance, steadfastness, and victory."

Corbin

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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