Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Qatar, Qatar/Lebanon,
DE RUEHDM #4128/01 2341328
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221328Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1133
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
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UNCLAS DAMASCUS 004128
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/Qatar, Qatar/Lebanon,
Syria/Iran, Lebanon/Israel (8/22)
1. Summary: Syrian papers today reported the working visit to
Damascus by Shaykh Hamad Bin-Khalifah Al Thani, Emir of Qatar,
and his meeting with President Asad, which focused on the
Israeli aggression against Lebanon and its repercussions, the
current Arab position, the situation in the Palestinian
territories and Iraq, and bilateral relations. Viewpoints over
those issues were identical. Both leaders agreed to continue
consultations and coordination between the two sisterly
Syrian papers also featured the press conference held jointly by
Lebanese president Emile Lahoud and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad
Bin Khalifa Al Thani just after their meeting in Beirut. The
Emir praised the Lebanese people and the Resistance "which has
realized the first Arab victory over Israel for many years."
Sheikh Hamad criticized calls to disarm Hezbollah while Israel is
receiving weapons, saying "we stand by every country that wants
to defend its land, but to prevent Hezbollah from getting weapons
while Israel is arming itself more and more is definitely
unacceptable." He called upon Israel to implement UNSC
Resolution 1701 and stop its continuous violations of Lebanese
sovereignty. For his part, Lahoud expressed appreciation for
Qatar's stance in support of Lebanon during its crisis, pointing
out the Qatari efforts in the Security Council to improve the
resolution, which neither met Lebanese ambitions nor reflected
the events of the war or the victory of the Resistance. The
Lebanese President confirmed that Lebanon will demand
compensation from Israel for all damage to the Lebanese
infrastructure during the Israeli aggression.
On Syrian-Iranian relations, papers cited a statement by Syrian
Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun, who participated in
the 19th International Conference of Islamic Unity in Tehran.
Hassoun said that "the victory of the Lebanese Resistance has
been achieved by the strong will of the Lebanese people."
"Features of a new Middle East have begun to appear after this
victory; a Middle East that was launched by the will of nations
not through the policy of repression," Sheikh Hassoun added
during a meeting with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Leader of the
Supreme Council of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Mufti Hassoun
added that "Lebanon has achieved a miracle by fighting the
Zionist aggression. The positive situation brought about by the
victory of the resistance has reflected on the whole Islamic
nation." He called on all Muslims to leave disputes aside and
unite in facing challenges that target Islamic unity.
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"President Asad and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad discuss the
aggression against Lebanon and the situation in Iraq and the
Palestinian territories. Identical points of view and agreement
on continuing consultations" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/22)
"Sheikh Hamad from Beirut: Points of views were identical, and I
carried an invitation to the Lebanese Prime Minister to visit
Damascus.... Had the oil weapon been used during the aggression
it would have served Lebanon's interest. The Resistance victory
is the first victory for Arabs in years" (Government-owned Al-
President Asad sends a message of condolences to President
Mubarak on the victims of train crash" (Government-owned Al-
"Information Minister Bilal: Syria works for Arab solidarity and
her stances are firm regarding peace" (Government-owned Al-
"At least 4 US soldiers killed in Baghdad and al-Anbar. An Iraqi
child killed by the American army" (Government-owned Tishreen
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"A Scheme of Sedition"
Muhammad Khayr al-Jammali, a columnist in government-owned Al-
Thawra, wrote (8/22): "Israel, the United States, and their
aides in Lebanon are working to stir up domestic strife in
Lebanon in an attempt to render the historic and strategic
victory that the Lebanese Resistance achieved void of its
military, political, and strategic content. Each of the three
parties has its own objective. While Israel's objective is to
restore some of its lost deterrent power and military prestige,
the American objective is to prevent forces of resistance and
opposition in the region from turning the military victory into
a political victory, as this would foil all American plans for
"As for those assisting the United States and Israel in the
region, their objective is to come out of the difficult
situation they found themselves in as a result of the victory of
"These aides are plotting against this victory through
incitement against the Resistance and Syria and the promotion of
false accusations against them to distort the national role of
the Resistance and the pan-Arab role of Syria in supporting this
"What is being concocted against Lebanon now is a major and
serious plan of sedition to create a deep rift between the
people and the Resistance. The aim is to isolate, besiege, and
harass the Resistance. They want to hide the suspicious role
they played in the past and the role they are now playing to
abort the results of the victory and turn them to the service of
the revival of the Zionist-American scheme in the region, which
has entered its death throes, from Iraq to Lebanon. But
Lebanon's people and the Resistance, and with them Syria and the
honorable forces in the region and the world, will not allow
this scheme to achieve any of its objectives, just as they
earlier foiled the plan to contain Lebanon and aborted its
political and military instruments."
"They Are Preparing for New Rounds of Aggression"
Dr. Khalaf al-Jarrad, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (8/22): "There is ongoing criticism in Israel of the
Israeli military and political leaders over their performance in
Lebanon.... Arabs must not conclude that the extremist Israeli
society will resign itself to the idea of defeat and turn into a
moderate society supportive of peace and international
legitimacy.... There are Israeli calls to resume war and pursue
Hizbollah leaders.... It would therefore be a misjudgment to
believe that heavily wounded Israel, which is used to swift and
decisive victories, will abide by the newest Security Council
resolution or respect the international will and implement its
obligations under this resolution....
"We believe that the leadership of the Lebanese Resistance,
which has great experience in the Zionist enemy's affairs,
tactics, plots, treacheries, aggressive nature, and racist
expansionist composition, will deprive Israel of the chance to
take revenge and avenge the loss of the dignity of its army on
the soil of South Lebanon. It will not enable the Zionist enemy
to achieve what it failed to achieve with its planes, missiles,
tanks, and warships....
"We expect Israel to violate the cease-fire through attacks
against Hizbollah positions or attempts to assassinate or kidnap
Hizbollah leaders. We also expect the countries that drafted
UNSC Resolution 1701 to give conflicting interpretations in
order to serve Israel's interests....
"As for the United States, it will not rest before the
implementation of all previous resolutions, first of all
Resolution 1559, which seek to end every form of resistance
against the Zionist occupation, isolate Lebanon from its Arab
environment, dismantle the bonds of brotherhood and the
intertwined and organic relations between Lebanon and Syria, and
sow the seeds of infighting, civil war, and division along
sectarian, denominational, and feudal lines in Lebanon.
"This serious situation demands Arab vigilance and readiness....
Arabs must return to the principles, bases, and conventions on
which common Arab action was built over the past 60 years....
Arabs must not relinquish Arab solidarity, even if at a minimum
level.... Israel must not be given the opportunity to single out
the Arab countries one after the other, taking advantage of
inter-Arab sensitivities and different views and positions...."
"The Real Test"
Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (8/22): "Lebanon, which emerged victorious thanks to its
valiant resistance, has become a real power in the equation of
the conflict with the enemy, able to confront the Israeli-
American hegemonic plans....
"The Arab nation now feels that any true resistance can put an
end to Israeli arrogance.... Israel now tastes the humiliation
of defeat, while the United States earned nothing from the
Israeli aggression against Lebanon other than the peoples'
hatred for its policy....
"The war against Lebanon has proven that the will of nations is
the decisive word in any real test. That is exactly what the
national Lebanese Resistance has proven."
"Europe, the Silent Witness"
Charles Kamilah, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (8/22): "There are two possible reasons behind Europe's
reluctance to commit troops to South Lebanon. First, Resolution
1701 did not end the aggression, so much as seek to shackle the
Resistance and allow the aggression to continue without
"The Israeli infiltration attempt in eastern Lebanon on August
19 clearly shows this flagrant bias towards the aggression by
Resolution 1701.... Europe does not want its troops in South
Lebanon to serve as a silent witness to Israel's violations,
which will be condoned by the United States. The second reason
is that Europe is tired of serving as a fire brigade and a
charity fund for reconstructing what the American military
"Aggression against Lebanon and Arab Responsibility"
Dr. Isa al-Shammas, an op-ed writer in government-owned Al-
Ba'th, wrote (8/22): "The official Arab position toward the
Israeli aggression on Lebanon and the Palestinians was terribly
weak and indifferent....
"Some Arabs live deep in their dreams, concerned only about
their positions and not shocked by the massacres and bloody
scenes that their Arab brothers are experiencing in Lebanon....
The Arab peoples were astonished and disgusted with the
statements that some Arab leaders made against Lebanon and its
valiant Resistance, which is defending the dignity of all Arabs
and their right to exist vis-a-vis the Israeli-American plan in
the Arab region....
"We wonder why some Arab leaders are ignoring the sentiments of
their peoples, which are becoming more inflammatory day after
day and which will certainly reach a point that will burn the
thrones of these leaders and those who stand behind them.... We
wonder why Arabs are not severi
ng all their relations with
Israel or implementing the Arab League Charter and the common
Arab defense pact...."