Cablegate: Syria/Denmark, Syria/Us, Syria/Sudan, Syria/Russia,
DE RUEHDM #0684/01 1861315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051315Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3819
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6930
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4625
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3275
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7760
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1854
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5179
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1390
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7501
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000684
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: Syria/Denmark, Syria/US, Syria/Sudan, Syria/Russia,
Syria/Japan, Syria/UK, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Iraq, Golan
1. Summary: Syrian papers on July 4 reported President Asad's
meeting on July 3 with Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller,
focusing on bilateral relations and efforts to revive the peace
process. Discussions also dealt with the situation in Iraq and the
political process there. The two sides stressed the need for
effective inclusion of all segments of the Iraqi people in that
process in order to achieve stability, national reconciliation, and
withdrawal of foreign troops, and to preserve the country's
territorial integrity and independence. Both sides noted the latest
developments in the occupied Palestinian territories. Papers also
featured the press conference held jointly by Foreign Minister
Mouallem and Danish FM Moeller at the end of the visit.
Papers on July 4 also reported President Asad's meeting on July 3
with a delegation from the US Center for Strategic and International
Studies. During the meeting, President Asad answered questions
raised by the delegation's members on Syria's positions on current
events in the region, the Middle East Peace Process and Syria's
vision of international and regional relations.
Syrian papers on July 5 reported PM Ottri's visit to Sudan on July
4. Ottri told reporters upon arrival that the visit aimed to boost
bilateral relations and to follow up on agreements of the joint
higher committee in the political, economic, and cultural sectors.
He said he would also be delivering a letter from Syrian President
Asad to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Ottri is expected to
meet with Al-Bashir, Vice President Ali Othman Taha, the parliament
speaker, the foreign minister, and other Sudanese officials.
Papers on July 4 reported that Japanese Emperor Akihito has stressed
the importance of boosting relations between Japan and Syria in all
domains, during a meeting on July 3 with Dr. Qahtan al-Syoufi,
Syria's Ambassador in Tokyo. Dr. al-Syoufi conveyed President
Asad's wishes for continued success and progress to the Japanese
Papers on July 4 also featured a Foreign Ministry statement on July
3 condemning the terrorist assaults which claimed the lives of a
number of Spanish tourists and Yemini citizens in Yemen. The source
expressed condolences for the families of the victims and the
Spanish Government and sympathy for the Yemeni leadership in its
campaign against terror in Yemen. The source said the crimes of
international terrorism that target innocent people all over the
world require a common international effort to combat them and
cooperation to prevent their occurrence.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry on July 3 sent memos to the UN Secretary
General, the Chairman of the UN General Assembly, the Chairman and
members of the UN Security Council, and the Human Rights Higher
Committee, explaining the deteriorating health condition of Syrian
captive, Bishr al-Maqt, a citizen from the occupied Syrian Golan,
who is held at the Israeli prison of Jalbou. The Foreign Ministry
demanded immediate UN intervention to force Israel to provide
medical care for al-Maqt and to release him and other Syrian
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"President Asad reviews Syria's positions regarding regional issues
with a delegation from the US Center for Strategic and International
Studies. President Asad discusses bilateral relations, the peace
process and the situation in Iraq and the Palestinian territories
with Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller. Moeller: Talks were
very constructive. Foreign Minister Mouallem: we are ready to
resume peace talks" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 7/4)
"A Syrian Foreign Ministry source condemns the terrorist attacks
against Spanish tourists in Yemen: Syria: Combating terrorism
requires a joint international effort" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th,
"The Syrian Foreign Ministry calls on the UN to force Israel to
release Syrian prisoners" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 7/4)
"Former Russian Prime Minister Primakov: Syrian-Russian relations
are developing steadily" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 7/4)
"Japanese Emperor Akihito reiterates the importance of boosting
relations with Syria" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 7/4)
"Prime Minister Ottri in Khartoum discussing bilateral relations and
reiterating the importance of carrying out signed protocols"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 7/5)
"William Hague, Foreign Secretary in the British Shadow Government,
calls for constructive dialogue with Syria" (Government-owned
"Russia threatens to deploy missiles on the border with Poland if
Washington rejects its proposal on missile shield" (Government-owned
"British journalist Alan Johnston is set free in Gaza. Johnston
praises Hamas' effort to release him. Hanieh reiterates call for
dialogue" (Government-owned Tishreen, 7/5)
"A Syrian source: Damascus played a role in releasing Johnston.
After 114 days, Johnston is set free" (Independent al-Watan, 7/5)
"Lebanese circles warn against practices of the current governing
team. Hizbollah Secretary General calls for saving Lebanon from the
brink of collapse" (Government-owned Tishreen, 7/5)
"The Moslem Scholars Assembly rejects the draft resolution on oil.
Two US soldiers killed in Iraq. President Bush admits the
difficulty of fighting in Iraq, calling on Americans to be patient"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 7/5)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"Terrorism and Intimidation"
Abd-al-Fattah al-Awad, Chief Editor of government-owned Al-Thawra,
commented (7/4): "Israel is conducting military exercises in the
Golan while at the same time saying that Syria intends to launch war
"We always expect Israeli aggression because we know Israel
passionately loves wars; Israel is essentially built on the idea of
war. Israel, which possesses nuclear weapons and is equipped with
the world's most dangerous arms, shouts and screams when Syria buys
even hunting guns.
"It would, therefore, be frivolous not to expect an Israeli
aggression this summer and every summer, or at any other time,
especially since the United States is pushing Israel to play this
"Israel, which suffered a humiliating defeat last July in Lebanon,
is trying, through a new war, to wash off its disgrace. And it is
trying to start negotiations on 'new bases' and from a new reality!
Israel is also required to do the job of preoccupying Syria to serve
those who see Syria as influencing their policies in the region.
"In any case, and whatever the reasons, Israel is very mistaken. It
must know that Syria is always able to defend itself.
"Saying something and doing something else is no longer a useful
policy in an open world that knows what is happening around it.
This public lying is not new. But these days it is becoming a
policy pursued by more than one party in the region. The United
States, the master of secret and public lies, has offered those who
work for it an ideal model of this hateful policy.
"As for Syria, it has always pursued a public, clear, and
transparent policy and presented itself to the world clearly. It
has announced repeatedly that it wants peace and is an advocate of
peace. It does not believe in secret negotiations.... It is perhaps
this clarity and public conduct that have made Syria a country with
a role that cannot be ignored...."
"Iraqi National Reconciliation"
An unsigned op-ed in government-owned Al-Ba'th on (7/4) read:
"There must be genuine national reconciliation in Iraq involving the
Iraqi resistance and the forces that oppose the occupation....
However, some forces in the current Iraqi government, supported by
parties loyal to the occupation, will not allow such reconciliation,
because it would strip them of their powers and harm their special
agendas of dividing Iraq into fragile cantons....
"The Iraqi forces that oppose and resist occupation see in national
reconciliation a noble objective that can be accepted if factors for
the success of dialogue are made available, as this would mean the
achievement of the main objective of their struggle, namely, ending
the occupation and maintaining the unity of the Iraqi land and
"Deception and Deferment"
Umar Jaftali, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(7/4): "US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants to keep US
forces in Iraq for a long period to fight Al-Qa'ida after reducing
the number of US forces....
"This means that occupation will continue indefinitely as long as
the Al-Qa'ida excuse remains in Iraq. It is known that Al-Qa'ida
did not exist in Iraq before the US occupation and that it came
there as a result of that occupation. This also means that the US
Administration is studying new tactics and drawing up strategies to
keep its control over Iraq and loot its oil for ever....
"The US Administration is not listening to international and
American calls for withdrawal from Iraq, even though the futile war
is bringing nothing to the United States but human and material
losses and a bad reputation...."
"Between Shebaa, Clinton and Monica"
Ibrahim Daraji, an editorialist in independent Al-Watan, wrote
(6/4): "It has become obvious that the UN has started to resort to
a famous method in international relations by fabricating a new
imaginary crisis to divert attention from its failure to solve a
"One who reads the UN Secretary General's report on the
implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701, especially the
part that blames Syria for the failure to demarcate the border with
Lebanon, especially the in Shebaa Farms region, realizes this
"The report ignores the fact that Syria sent a letter to Lebanon
calling for the demarcation of the border.... The Shebaa Farms
cannot be delineated while it is still under occupation.... Syria
has always stressed that Shebaa is Lebanese territory....