Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Russia, Lebanon, Iraq,


DE RUEHDM #5338/01 3311004
O 271004Z NOV 06





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Russia, Lebanon, Iraq,
Palestinian Territories (11/22-26)

1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that Deputy Foreign Minister
Dr. Faisal Miqdad received Russian Deputy FM Alexander Sultanov on
Saturday (Nov. 25). Talks focused on developments in Palestine,
Lebanon and Iraq. The two sides stressed the importance of
continuous consultations between the two friendly countries as part
of their efforts to help establish stability in the region. The
Russian official pointed out that he is carrying a message to the
Syrian leadership expressing Russia's willingness to boost bilateral
relations and deepen political dialogue.

On developments in Lebanon, papers reported the assassination of
Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre al-Jumayyil, featuring an official
Syrian statement denouncing the crime and citing Information
Minister Bilal's interview with the Spanish newspaper' El Periodico
de Catalunya,' describing those who committed the crime as "enemies
of Syria and Lebanese national unity." Al-Thawrah on November 24
published pictures of four anti-Syria Lebanese leaders -- Samir
Ja'ja, Walid Junblatt, Sa'd al-Hariri, and Marwan Hamadah -- under
the headline: "The killers participate in the funeral." The paper
says leaders of the February 14 forces in Lebanon took advantage of
Al-Jumayyil's blood to advance their political agenda. It says
their speeches and slogans in the funeral "were identical to the
slogans of the Israeli Mossad," and it accuses Ja'ja, Junblatt, and
Al-Hariri of stoking the fire of sedition and continuing their

On Syrian-Iraqi relations, papers reported FM Mouallem's visit to
Iraq and his meeting with Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari, crowned by the
resumption of diplomatic relations between Syria and Iraq after 25

On Palestinian developments, papers reported the visit to Damascus
of Palestinian FM Mahmoud al-Zahaar and his meeting with VP Shara,
who reiterated the importance of taking practical measures to lift
the siege on the Palestinian people". For his part, Zahaar said in
statements after the meeting that "the national Palestinian
resistance movement Hamas agrees with the formation of a national
unity government according to the national concordance program that
has been agreed upon among all the Palestinian factions inside the
legislative council and outside it."

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sultanov: Russia is determined to
deepen political dialogue with Syria" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,

"Arab media: Jummayyil's assassination is a US-Israeli scheme
carried out by Ja'ja and Junblatt. The Lebanese government is fully
responsible" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 11/26)

"An American analyst: Israel stands behind the assassination of
Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Jummayyil" (Government-owned
Al-Thawra, 11/26)

"Information Minister Bilal: The assassination of Pierre Jummayyil
targets Lebanon's national accord. President Lahoud calls for
maintaining national unity. Senior Lebanese officials condemn the
crime. Syria strongly condemns the crime and reiterates concern for
Lebanon's security" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 11/22)

"The February 14 team invests assassination of Jummayyil to foil the
opposition move. Former Lebanese PM al-Hoss: 'Where are they
driving Lebanon to?' Lebanese MP Aoun calls for unveiling the
Mossad network.... Resigned Lebanese ministers: 'Al-Saniora
government accumulates faults and its session today is
unconstitutional" (Government-owned Tishreen, 11/25)

"President Mubarak calls for not making accusations randomly; Arab
press holds Israel responsible for the Jummayyil assassination....
Egyptian 'al-Akhbar': It is a Mossad action to confuse the
opposition and stir up sectarian sedition" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 11/25)

"The killers of Pierre Jummayyil attend his funeral, while there is
investment in the event and no investigation. Former Lebanese PM
al-Hoss rejects turning the Jummayyil funeral into a political event
to create sectarian sedition. Egyptian daily al-Ahram: The Mossad
is behind the Jummayyil assassination. Morning Star warns against
unleashing accusations. The Guardian: Syria and the opposition are
the losers" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/24)
"French foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy calls on Israel to
support Lebanese government of al-Saniora" (Government-owned
Al-Thawra, 11/23)

"Urgent American military aid to al-Saniora government"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 11/23)

"Khalid Mishaal, Chief of Hamas Political Bureau, warns of a third
Intifada and calls on Arab and Islamic countries to carry out their
decision to break out from the siege against Palestinians"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 11/26)

"After Olmert's visit to Washington, Israel decides to liquidate
Hamas leaders" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/23)

"Vice-President Shara calls on the Palestinian factions to reach
national accord. Palestinian FM al-Zahar: a new Palestinian
technocrat government is a retreat from a previous agreement on a
national unity government" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/22)

"Syria and Iraq resume diplomatic relations after 25 years"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/22)

"Major European countries support dialogue with Syria. Germany:
there is no solution without Damascus. Italy: not having dialogue
is not a solution. Spain: We are carrying on dialogue. UK: No to
the unleashing of accusations" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/24)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:


"Accusing Questions"


Abd-al-Fattah al-Awad, Chief Editor of government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (11/24): "Pierre al-Jumayyil's assassination took place only
hours before the UN Security Council session on the international
tribunal that will try suspects in the assassination of former
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri....

"The assassination took place in broad daylight and just before the
opposition was to take to the streets to topple Al-Saniora's

"Who is the killer then? The killer is the one who benefited from
all this. Before Pierre al-Jumayyil was buried, part of the price
of his blood was already credited to the killers' account and the
account of those who predicted that assassinations would take place.
We are amazed: How can they repeatedly talk about assassination
orders without saying who carries out the assassinations? The
answer, simply, is that they are the ones who carry them out. They
have done it before. These people include a former killer-prisoner
[referring to Samir Ja'ja] who is now working as an ambassador for
Israeli interests in Beirut. He and his team are responsible for
this heinous crime....

"Creating civil strife among Christians, applying pressure on the
Free Patriotic Movement [led by Michel Aoun] to diminish its
popularity, and pressuring the ministers of Amal and Hizbollah to
reverse their resignation, were also among the motives behind
Al-Jumayyil's assassination.

"The objectives of this assassination are clear, and the
perpetrators, consequently, are known. It is a desperate attempt to
return to the gains that were made after the Al-Hariri
assassination. It is also an attempt to harm Syria after all the
successes it has scored in the world, where the Syrian vision has
proven to be correct....

"Just as they previously failed to achieve their objectives, so now
they are even more frustrated. It is a dead-end for Israel's
friend, as the Israeli press calls him, and for the ambassador of
the Israeli interests, as he really is."

"In order for the Truth not to Be Victimized"


Isam Dari, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, commented on
(11/25): "The February 14 team in Lebanon is the primary
beneficiary of the latest assassination and from all previous
terrorist assassinations and bombings in Lebanon.

"The short-term objective of Al-Jumayyil's assassination is to
thwart the opposition's efforts to bring down the government, while
the longer-term objective is to ignite sectarian strife and
undermine the opposition coalition by inciting one group against
another or against the others....

"It is ironic that the February 14 team is accusing others of
responsibility for the crimes that have been committed in Lebanon
while the government and its agencies are unable to obtain any lead
to the truth, which has become the first victim of the ruling team
in Beirut, a team that draws strength from foreigners and that is
managed by foreign ambassadors."

"The tragic reality is that the lives of Pierre al-Jumayyil and
those who were assassinated before him were the price of an American
plan and of the lust for power of a group of novices and old hands.
But the truth will inevitably come out. Then, this group will fall
into the trap that it tried to set for others. And then it will be
too late to regret, and history will have no mercy...."


"A Crime Serving US-Zionist Plan"


Walid al-Buz, a commentator in government-owned Al-Ba'th, wrote
(11/23: "The assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre
al-Jumayyil, like all the recent assassinations in the country, is
part of the American-Zionist plan in the region, which is based on
destabilizing the region and stirring sectarian, denominational, and
ethnic instincts and chauvinism to divide and fragment the

"The assassination will embarrass the opposition and its effort to
topple the American-backed government and form a national unity

"Committing a crime of this caliber in Lebanon helps the United
States speed up a UN Security Council decision on the establishment
of the international tribunal, where there are concerns about
politicization and implementation of suspicious plans. The logic of
things says that the assassination of Minister Pierre al-Jumayyil,
may God have mercy on his soul, was a crime committed to help the
government stay in power so that it can implement the scheme it is
required to implement as part of the American-Israeli plan in
Lebanon and the region...."

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

"Why You Are Shouting Loudly If You Are Innocent?

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

Dr. Turki Saqr, an op-ed writer in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (11/23): "The governing powers in Lebanon, who claim to
be the majority, have recently raised their voices because they
failed to hide their set role in selling Lebanon out in the cheap
American-Israeli market and were unable to belittle the major
victory that Hizbollah achieved for the Lebanese people....

"If these forces were really a majority, they would not fear an
early election or a national unity government.... These forces want
to continue excluding others and maintain a monopoly on power in
furtherance of the orders they receive from foreign embassies....

"The bankrupt government forces wanted to cover their popular
bankruptcy and their turning into pawns in the hands of the American
ambassador in Beirut by shouting loudly, playing the tune of
sectarianism and denominationalism, and inciting against Hizbollah
and harming its sacrifices and its leaders in an unethical and
unpatriotic manner to serve the Zionist-American plan in Lebanon and
the region...."


© Scoop Media

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