Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Jordan, Syria/Libya, Arab
DE RUEHDM #5277/01 3111106
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071106Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2408
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6359
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4158
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2749
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7343
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1368
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4724
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0941
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7076
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 005277
DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/S:STHIBEAULT AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, DBENZE AND AFERNANDEZ,
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Jordan, Syria/Libya, Arab
Parliament Conference, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories
1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that President Asad received a
letter on Saturday (11/4) from King Abdullah II, focusing on
regional developments and ties between Syria and Jordan. The letter
was conveyed by Abdul Hadi Majali, Speaker of the Jordanian
Parliament and Chairman of the Interim Arab Parliament, who met with
President Asad on November 4.
Papers also reported Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem's visit to
Tripoli, Libya, carrying a message from President Asad to Colonel
Moamar Qaddafi. The message focused on bilateral relations and
recent regional developments.
Papers also reported the meeting of the Interim Arab Parliament in
Damascus on November 4, featuring its final statement denouncing the
Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and calling for an
immediate release of members of the Palestinian government and the
Palestinian Speaker from Israeli jails, as well as the freeing of
other Arab and Palestinian prisoners. The statement renewed
condemnation of Israeli aggression against Lebanese territory and
the need for full Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon,
including Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba.
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"President Asad sends a message to Libyan President al-Gadafi
carried by Foreign Minister al-Mouallem, receives a message from
King Abdullah II of Jordan, and reviews latest developments in the
Palestinian and Iraqi arenas with Speaker of Jordanian Parliament
al-Majali" (Government-owned Tishreen, 11/5)
"Arab Parliamentarians call for an unconditional timetable for
ending the occupation of Iraq. Al-Saqer, Speaker of the Arab
Interim Parliament, voices full solidarity with Syria. Al-Abrach,
Speaker of the Syrian People's Assembly: The Damascus meeting
represents a new era. Moussa, Arab league SecGen: The Damascus
conference deepens dialogue and efforts to boost reforms"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 11/5
"German Chancellor Merkel to British Premier Blair: Syria is an
important regional player" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/3)
"The Lebanese government authorizes German naval forces to monitor
all of the Lebanese coast. Lebanese Foreign Minister Saloukh
reiterates: Larsen's statement is untrue. Aoun rejects conditions
of the February 14 group for change of government" (Government-owned
"Mounting resentment of US interference in Lebanese affairs.
General Aoun: Changing the government is a Lebanese demand....
External support does not give it legitimacy" (Government-owned
"Palestinian President Abbas calls for emergency UN Security Council
session. Over 43 Palestinians martyred, 225 injured, in 4th day of
the Israeli massacre against Gaza" (Government-owned Tishreen,
"CIA Director John Negroponte pays a surprise visit to Baghdad and
confers with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki. Killing of 11 US
soldiers in Iraq within two days" (Government-owned Tishreen, 11/4)
"International opinion poll: Bush threatens world peace. Observers:
The year of Democrats has started. Republicans launch a final
rescue campaign" (Government-owned Tishreen, 11/4)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"Will Rice Recognize Facts?"
Izz-al-Din al-Darwish, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (11/2): "Condoleezza Rice made a statement about possible
assassinations in Lebanon and a conspiracy against the Al-Saniora
government and accused Syria.
"These American statements are not surprising in terms of timing and
objective, at least to those who are following Lebanese developments
and the repercussions of the recent Israeli aggression on Lebanon.
Since the end of that aggression -- which ended with a clear defeat
for Israel and, consequently, for the US Administration -- Secretary
Rice has been moving in and around the region to create new hotbeds
of tension and rekindle the existing ones. The evidence is what has
happened in the occupied Palestinian territories and also in
"Washington wants the Lebanese to keep silent and accept, without
discussion, what the Americans and the Israelis offer them....
Americans are telling the Lebanese something like this: Leave the
issues of the border, the sea, the crossings, the airport, and the
internal security to us; have full confidence in the February 14
group; keep away from the national resistance and its allies; and,
most importantly, keep away from Syria. Then, you will win our
approval and that of Israel.
"But Secretary Rice has forgotten that Lebanon is not only the
February 14 group, and the Lebanese have much stronger nationalist
and Arab sentiments than she thinks, and that most of them are ready
to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of Lebanon's pride and
"A Lost Will For Peace"
Muhammad Ali Buza, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (11/3): "The negative US position toward Spain's call for a
credible conference for peace in the Middle East did not come as a
"Washington has lost its role credibility.... Along with the Israeli
ally and through unlimited support for it, Washington deliberately
killed and buried the peace process and permitted Tel Aviv alone to
free itself from any obligations or requirements resulting or which
might result from this process.... It preferred to maintain a
unilateral hold on the file of the crisis and the keys to its
solution. Washington does not want any party to disturb it,
embarrass it, or act outside its umbrella, which is designed
exclusively to sponsor Israel and dictate peace on Israel's
conditions and terms -- something that conflicts with UN resolutions
and the elements of a just and comprehensive peace....
"The United States has turned into a main party to the conflict and
a full partner of Israel in its aggression, usurpation of Arab land,
challenge to international law, and rejection of peace.... It is
impossible for the United States to be a force for aggression,
occupation, and intimidation and, at the same time, a sponsor and
guarantor of peace in the Middle East or anywhere else in the
"A Plan that is Doomed to Failure"
Adnan Ali, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(11/3): "President Bush's new plan in Iraq, which is based on
getting the Iraqi government more involved in the security effort so
as to blame it for the failures and to minimize losses among
American troops, does not amount to a strategic change placing Iraq
on a clear course that will end with the departure of the occupation
forces and the achievement of a genuine political reconciliation
among the Iraqi people. This is why this plan is not likely to
achieve tangible results that will save the Bush administration from
its crisis and rescue the Iraqi people from the cycle of violence
and the specter of civil war which is looming as a result of stupid
or deliberate policies by the occupation forces....
"Three years after its unjust war on Iraq, the Bush administration
has not drawn the necessary conclusions, and it still turns to lies,
arrogance, and stupidity...."