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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Lebanon Ceasefire - Tokyo

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UNCLAS TOKYO 004647

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION Q LEBANON CEASEFIRE - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Top stories Wednesday morning included a
Yomiuri report on plans by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs to set up summits between the next prime minister
and his Chinese and South Korean counterparts soon after
taking office in September.

1. "Lebanon Ceasefire Should Not be Temporary" The
liberal Asahi editorialized (8/16): "The tragedy in
Lebanon has come to an end for the time being following
the acceptance by Israel and Hezbollah of a unanimous
UNSC resolution calling for the cessation of
hostilities.... However, complacency is not an option. It
will likely take several weeks to reinforce the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which is
monitoring the ceasefire. The Lebanese government,
meanwhile, plans to deploy troops to the southern part of
the country. We wonder whether this combination will be
able to disarm Hezbollah, one of the terms of the UNSC
resolution. Additionally, the resolution did not call for
a complete end to Israel's cross-border operations but
for a halt to 'offensive operations,' as the Bush
administration, which is sympathetic to Israel, pushed
for this language in the Security Council. Hezbollah has
declared that it will not cease its attacks as long as
Israeli troops are in Lebanon, and minor clashes occurred
between the two on the first day of the ceasefire.

2. "With the situation as it is, any violation of the
ceasefire could trigger renewed fighting. Steps must be
taken to resolve the conflict in order to prevent the
current peace from being an illusory one. The first step
should be a quick expansion of UNIFIL in order to create
the conditions that would allow Israel to withdraw....
The second step should be opening the way for Hezbollah
to release the Israeli troops it has abducted and for
Israel in return to release the Hezbollah fighters it has
captured. For this to be accomplished, the intervention
of the United States and European countries is
indispensable.... Third, Hezbollah must be made to
compromise politically in order to coexist with Israel.
The same could be said of Hamas. We would like to propose
an international conference that would revive the Middle
East peace process that was begun 15 years ago after the
Gulf War. While calling for restraint from Israel, the
inflexible demands of Hezbollah will be unraveled one at
a time. We would like such a diplomatic effort to unfold
through the cooperation of various countries."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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