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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Turkey, Syria/Spain,

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #4162/01 2351436
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231436Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1176
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6219
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4055
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2613
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6980

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 004162

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/Turkey, Syria/Spain,
Syria/Brazil, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories (8/23)

1. Summary: Syrian papers today reported the visit to Damascus
of Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul and his meeting with President Asad, that focused on
bilateral relations, developments in Iraq and the Palestinian
territories, the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and its
repercussions in the region, and the role that Turkey might play
in the enhanced United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon [UNIFIL]
and in the achievement of peace in the region. Gul also met
with Vice President Shara, who underscored the important role
that Turkey can play in current issues and in the available
opportunities for peace in the region, and with Foreign Minister
Mouallem, with whom he discussed the situation in Lebanon
following the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1701, the need to
maintain the cease-fire and to achieve an Israeli withdrawal to
beyond the Blue Line, and the role of UNIFIL. FM Gul made a
press statement in which he described his talks with Syrian
officials as "fruitful, useful, and very positive." On the
possibility of his country's participation in the international
force that will be sent to Lebanon to reinforce UNIFIL, Gul said
Turkey has not yet made a decision. If Turkey decides to
participate, he said, Syria will welcome the decision.

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Papers also featured an interview, published by French newspaper
Sud West, with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos,
in which he stressed the need to involve Syria in international
efforts to heal the situation in the Middle East. "There is no
military solution for this issue," Moratinos said. The Spanish
minister confirmed that Europe cannot stand with its hands folded
regarding the fighting 'taking place at its doors' and said that
his country will participate in the UNIFIL forces in Lebanon,
without specifying the nature or size of such participation.

Papers also reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-
Meqdad discussed the situation in the region, recent
developments in the occupied Palestinian territories, and
repercussions of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon with Afonso
Celso de Ouro Preto, the Brazilian special envoy to the Middle
East. During the meeting, the Brazilian envoy underlined his
country's interest in Syria's views regarding current events in
the Middle East, stressing the deep-rooted ties that connect
Syria and Brazil.

Papers also reported a message of solidarity to the Palestinian
people from Mahmoud al-Abrash, Speaker of the People's Assembly,
characterizing as an obvious violation of international law and
conventions the arrest of Aziz al-Doik, Chairman of the
Palestinian Legislative Council, and other Palestinian
ministers, parliamentarians and citizens. Al-Abrash underlined
Syria's firm support for the Palestinian people's struggle to
restore their usurped rights. Al-Abrash noted that the
Palestinians' struggle to liberate their land and establish a
sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is a
legitimate right recognized by all international resolutions.
"The great victory realized by the Lebanese Resistance became a
good lesson on how to restore all occupied Arab lands," he
added.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"President Asad reviews with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul repercussions of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon,
latest developments in the region and means to enhance bilateral
relations. Vice President Shara and Foreign Minister Mouallem
confer with Gul. Viewpoints were identical on the issues"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/23)

"Speaker of the Syrian People's Assembly sends a message of
solidarity to the Palestinian people on the Day of Solidarity
with Palestinian Detainees: Resistance is a legal right as long
as there is occupation" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/23)

"Moratinos: It is important to include Syria in international
efforts that aim to heal the situation in the Middle East"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/23)


"Foreign Minister Bilal receives the Brazilian envoy to the
region and Khaled Haddadah Secretary General of the Lebanese
Communist Party: Syria will support Lebanon.... Coherence among
Lebanese factions enhances the Resistance's victory" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 8/23)

"Defeat intensifies pressure on the Israeli aggression
tripartite: Olmert, Beratz and Halouts. Italy, which is
nominated to lead the international forces in Lebanon, hints at
not sending any forces to Lebanon if Israel keeps violating the
cease-fire" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/23)

"Lebanese President warns against an ambiguous truce and
continuous Israeli violations of the cease-fire" (Government-
owned Al-Thawra, 8/23)

"Hanieh advises renunciation of Palestinian domestic differences.
Israeli occupation kills three Palestinian activists, disfiguring
their bodies, and charges al-Doik with terrorism" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 8/23)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
-----------------

"Launching Peace"

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

Abd-al-Fattah al-Awad, Chief Editor of government-owned Al-
Thawra, commented (8/23): "Arabs launch peace while Israel
always launches war. Perhaps the death of the peace process, as
the Arab foreign ministers have recently been announcing, poses
a question about the relationship between resistance and peace.

"Syria does not believe in 'resistance for the sake of
resistance.' The realistic and practical principle is
'resistance for the sake of peace.' Among other achievements,
resistance improves the climate for the creation of a just
peace. The advocates and supporters of peace, therefore, should
always support the concept of resistance....

"Offering peace initiatives and raising peace slogans without
engaging in resistance made Israel arrogant and intransigent.
Israel did not take those Arab peace initiatives seriously.
Every time the Arabs took a step toward peace, the Israelis took
steps toward war.

"Many examples prove this, and the violations of Resolution 1701
will not be the last. There is much evidence that many were
victimized by excessive optimism about Israel's inclinations,
which are supported by the US....

"While Syria is now listening to various views about the next
scenarios, it realizes quite well that the possibility of
achieving peace depends on Israel's readiness to restore Arab
rights. This simply means that the peace process is possible on
the basis of the Security Council resolutions....

"Israel showed that it is not willing to achieve peace. Its
governments do not believe in the need to return the occupied
territories to their owners.... Syria has always believed in
peace. It was Israel that aborted every attempt to make a
breakthrough....

"The international community is to blame for neglecting the
peace process. Instead of talking about incomplete efforts in
this respect, the time has come for the world to work seriously
to achieve a genuine and comprehensive peace that returns rights
to their owners.

"At any rate, the victory of the Lebanese resistance and the
success of the resistance in Palestine and Iraq will generalize
the resistance approach. The lessons of the past have proven
that the exclusion of the resistance option harmed peace. The
current lesson says: The victory of the principle of resistance
is the way towards peace...."


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

"A Strange Contradiction"

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

Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (8/23): "All indications show that Israel is playing on
the time factor and on Resolution 1701 to make gains that it
failed to achieve during its terrorist aggression against
Lebanon because of the valor of the Resistance and the
steadfastness of the majority of the Lebanese....

"Israel continues its violations of Resolution 1701 through its
extensive flights in Lebanese skies and infiltrations into
Lebanese areas in the south.... The United Nations is not
condemning these violations because they are committed in
collusion with the United States, which drafted the Security
Council resolution in an ambiguous way so as to be a source of
problems, not solutions.

"The strange contradiction is that the dispute among some
Lebanese groups has become part of the US-Israeli distribution
of political roles for the post-aggression stage. Some are
frightening the Lebanese people away from the Resistance and
inciting them against Hizbollah, ignoring Israeli massacres and
Lebanese bloodshed....

"Those who are in a hurry to create sedition and fabricate
problems with the Resistance intend to serve Israel and give it
what it has failed to achieve through its sinful aggression....
The worst that can happen in Lebanon -- and that is what the
Israeli enemy seeks to achieve -- is to create a split over the
national Resistance, which has secured victory for all the
Lebanese."

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

"Violating the Text of the US Drama"

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

Isam Dari, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(8/23): "What the March 14 group did in Lebanon before, during,
and after the Israeli aggression against Lebanon stemmed not
from political recklessness but from the role it was assigned to
play in an Israeli-American drama....

"The Lebanese Resistance managed to foil the new Middle East
plan and to remove the mask from the yellow faces in Quraytim,
Al-Mukhtarah, and Al-Arz [headquarters of Saad Al-Hariri, Walid
Junblatt, and Samir Ja'ja, respectively]. The owners of those
faces, which became more yellow with the victory of the
Resistance, found nothing to do other than attack the master of
the Resistance [Hasan Nasrallah], Syria, and Arabism. They
began to speak on behalf of Israel and demand accountability and
the 'immediate' dismantling of Hizbollah's weapons.

"Do they recall that the departure of the Palestinian weapon
after the Israeli incursion into Lebanon in 1982 resulted in the
Sabra and Shatila massacre? Do they want to see another Sabra
and Shatila? When they ask the Resistance to lay down its arms,
who will protect the Resistance, and who will protect Lebanon?

"The irony is that this is the first time in history that the
winner is asked to lay down its arms by the Lebanese forces that
should have defended those who defended them and protected
Lebanon. But the role of this group is to liquidate the
Resistance and throw Lebanon into the lap of a new May 17
agreement."

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

"Post-Victory Surprises"

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

Ali Qasim, a columnist in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(8/23): "The Lebanese Resistance was not content with the major
surprises it achieved in confronting the Israeli aggression and
with scoring a broad victory; it continued its series of
surprises even after the victory, when it began work to
reconstruct the south....

"The Resistance, through its performance, adds a political
credibility to its military and media credibility.... Thus, the
Resistance offers a model for political action at a time when
Israel is offering a model for political contradiction
reflecting clear panic...."

Corbin

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