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Cablegate: Holy See: Diplomatic Note Expresses Concern For

VZCZCXRO3773
PP RUEHAST
DE RUEHROV #0178 2410959
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 290959Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0454
INFO RUEHVV/ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0482

UNCLAS VATICAN 000178

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL VT LE
SUBJECT: HOLY SEE: DIPLOMATIC NOTE EXPRESSES CONCERN FOR
CONSEQUENCES OF EMBARGO IN LEBANON


1. (SBU) Embassy has received a diplomatic note (N.5783/06/RS,
in English) dated August 26 from the Holy See, concerning the
humanitarian consequences of the embargo on Lebanon. Text
follows in para 2.

2. (SBU) Begin text.

The Secretariat of State, Section for Relations with States,
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of
America and has the honour to draw the Embassy's attention to
the grave humanitarian consequences of the continued full and
indiscriminate air and naval embargo of Lebanon, aggravated by
news of the recent decision of Syria to refuse that country its
usual supply of electric power.

The lack of raw materials and energy prevents the much-needed
resumption of economic activity, which alone can enable the
Lebanese people to embark upon the work of rebuilding and to
look with confidence to the future, resisting the temptation --
ever present -- of emigration.

The Secretariat of State, Section for Relations with States,
thanks the Embassy for whatever steps will be concretely taken
-- whether by Israel and Syria, or by Lebanon and the UNIFIL --
in order to resolve this grave problem, and avails itself of
this occasion to renew to the Embassy of United States of
America the assurance of its highest consideration.

End text.

3. (SBU) Comment: The note is a reminder of the high priority
of Lebanon for the Holy See, which has been in frequent contact
with Embassy on this issue in recent weeks and remains deeply
worried about the dwindling of the Christian population in the
Middle East. While Syria is criticized for cutting off power,
the phrasing of the note ("indiscriminate") also reflects the
Holy See's tendency to view the Israeli response to Hezbollah
provocations as excessive.

SANDROLINI

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