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Cablegate: Golan, Rice, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Iraq,

VZCZCXYZ0052
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0643/01 1781250
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271250Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3765
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6912
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4610
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3261
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7750
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1842
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5168
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1374
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7491

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000643

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/R/MR:STHIBEAULT AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, AZAIBACK, AND
AFERNANDEZ, IIP/G/NEA-SA MDAVIDSON
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Golan, Rice, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Iraq,
SyriaIran (6/27)

1. Summary: Syrian papers on June 27 marked the 33rd anniversary
of the liberation of Al-Qunaytirah with reports and articles
glorifying the "heroism" and sacrifices of Syrian forces during the
October 1973 war and stressing that the occupied Golan will
definitely return to Syria. Papers cited a lecture by Deputy
Foreign Minister Dr. Faysal al-Miqdad in Al-Qunaytirah on June 26 in
which he said that "the liberation of the occupied Arab territories,
headed by the Syrian Golan, is the top priority of President Asad's
policy." Al-Miqdad added, "the Syrian people and their leader
Bashar al-Asad strongly believe that the Golan will return to the
motherland, Syria."

Independent al-Watan quoted a well-informed diplomat as saying that
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit the Palestinian
Territories, with "an amended Roadmap." The visit will be within a
larger tour that Rice is going to take in the region in a couple of
weeks, the source said. The tour will include Egypt, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan and other countries. The source added that Rice's goal will
be to put together the two quartets: the Arab one and the
international one.

Independent al-Watan cited a report that the number of Iraqi
refugees in Syria has risen by 200,000 since the last estimate ten
weeks ago, to reach 1.4 million. The report said that the Syrian
government is in need of $60 million to provide medical and social
assistance to these refugees, but has so far received only $12
million.

All papers featured a statement by Syrian Ambassador in Tehran Hamed
Hassan made during a celebration at the Syrian embassy in Tehran on
the occasion of the formation of the Syrian-Iranian Friendship
Association on June 26. Hassan confirmed the strength of historic
Syrian-Iranian relations, adding, "the two countries are determined
to enhance their relations in all fields, which would benefit them
both and benefit the entire region."

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"UNIFIL forces are placed on alert in South Lebanon. The Lebanese
army continues its confrontations in the north. The national
opposition warns against the governing team's maneuvers to seize the
presidency: A plan for a comprehensive change in Lebanon is
underway" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/27)

"The Arab League denounces assault against UNIFIL forces in Lebanon"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 7/27)

"AFP: Targeting UNIFIL forces in Lebanon targets Hizbollah"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/27)

"Israel rules out a political agreement with the Palestinian
Authority. Lavrov in the region to settle dispute among
Palestinians and to prevent a catastrophe" (Government-owned
Al-Ba'th, 6/27)

"Hanieh welcomes dialogue among Palestinian parties. The tripartite
meeting does not bring anything new" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,
6/27)

"Palestinian refusal and Russian slackness about naming Blair as a
peace envoy in the International Quartet" (Government-owned
Al-Thawra, 6/27)

"The White House expects a difficult summer in Iraq"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 6/27)

"Iraqi authorities arrest Sunni Minister of Culture on charge of
terrorism" (Independent al-Watan, 6/27)

"Violent clashes in al-Diwanieh. Occupation forces enhance forces
in southern Iraq. Bush reiterates support for al-Maliki government.
Talabani in Tehran" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 6/27)

"Rice is due in the region" (Independent al-Watan,

6/27)

"Republican Senator Lugar: The US faces the danger of international
failure. A new strategy must adopted in Iraq" (Government-owned
Al-Ba'th, 6/27)

"Syrian Ambassador in Tehran: We are determined to promote
bilateral relations in all fields" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th,
6/27)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"It Is a Policy of Killing"

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

Umar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(6/27): "The Bush administration wants the world to be a
subservient follower of its policies, and it does not mind violating
all ethical values and divine precepts to realize this objective.

"What proves this is US practices in Iraq and Afghanistan....

"Washington is pursuing a policy of killing, promotion of terrorism,
and pleasure in torturing people in Abu Ghurayb, Guantanamo, and
secret prisons....

SIPDIS

"Don't neoconservatives in the Bush administration, who claim to be
advocates of law and freedom, feel ashamed when they bless the
culture of violence and killing, support Israel's crimes, and bring
mercenaries like Black Water to persist in human rights violations?

"The United States has lost its credibility in the Arab region and
the rest of the world...."

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

"Why Are All the Events in Lebanon and Palestine Happening?"

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

Dr. Issa al-Shammas, a columnist in government-owned Al-Ba'th, wrote
(6/27): "What is happening in Lebanon and the Palestinian
territories is an extension of what is happening in Iraq within the
framework of the American policy to build a new Middle East based on
blind chaos, division, and conflict among sons of the same
country....

"All leaders in Palestine and Lebanon must shoulder their national
and historical responsibilities.... Either preserving the land, the
identity, and the country or losing everything and falling into the
trap of the American plan of capitulation and hegemony...."

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

"Mere Questions about Lebanon"

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

Ibrahim Darraji, an editorialist in independent al-Watan, wrote
(6/27): "The security breaches in Lebanon, which are accompanied by
an escalating political crisis, are part of the American plan to
spread chaos in the region....

"The pro-government team in Lebanon is providing cover for those
involved in the bombings and assassinations, which serve the
purposes of known forces and countries...."

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

"The New Assignment"

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

Dr. Sa'id Musallam, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (6/27): "The British people, who forced Blair to resign, will
not be happy with his appointment as envoy to the International
Quartet, which has so far offered nothing other than doses of
despair and frustration and response to Israeli demands, with
blessings from the American master, and which promises further
concessions in Blair's new era....
"Countries of the region, where Bush and Blair bet on polishing
their images through the colors of death and chaos and symphonies of
sectarian violence and civil infighting, did not, and will not, get
from these peace activists anything other than deterioration,
division, and one storm after another...."

Corbin

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