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Cablegate: Syria/Iraq, Us Arms Shipments, Lebanon, Palestinian

VZCZCXYZ0034
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0806/01 2201408
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081408Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4002
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 7031
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4713
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3376
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7842
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1944
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5271
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1473
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7568

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000806

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: Syria/Iraq, US Arms Shipments, Lebanon, Palestinian
Territories, Peace Process (8/8)


1. Summary: Syrian papers on August 8 reported Deputy Foreign
Minister Faisal al-Miqdad's meeting on August 7 with Iraqi Foreign
Ministry Deputy Labid Abbawi on bilateral relations between Syria
and Iraq and means of developing them in all different domains.
During the meeting, both sides exchanged viewpoints on the latest
developments in Iraq. Al-Miqdad and Abbawi stressed the importance
of work to achieve national reconciliation among the Iraqi people in
order to realize stability in Iraq, preserve its territorial unity
and guarantee the withdrawal of the foreign forces from it.

Independent al-Watan reported that US officials will attend as
observers the two-day security border meeting in Damascus today that
emerged from the Sharm el-Sheikh conference on Iraq last May and in
the wake of Secretary Rice's meeting with Syrian FM Mouallem.

Papers also featured an analysis published by Italian Newspaper "La
Republica" on August 7 strongly criticizing the US Administration
weapons deals to Israel and the region, saying that this step
constitutes an indication of Washington's failure in the Middle
East. The analysis said that the increasing of US arms shipments to
the region increase dangers resulting from US failure in Iraq. The
paper stressed that more armament deals in the region will increase
instability in the Middle East, adding that the US deals are within
the framework of Washington's scheme to establish the Greater Middle
East.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad discusses developments in
Iraq with Iraqi Foreign Ministry Deputy Labid Abbawi. Emphasis is
laid on national reconciliation to maintain Iraq's national unity
and secure evacuation of occupation troops" (Government-owned
Al-Ba'th, 8/8)

"In the attendance of American observers; meeting of the Security
Committee for Coordination and Cooperation on Iraq convenes today in
Damascus" (Independent al-Watan, 8/8)

"Al-Maliki in Ankara: A security document and two protocols on oil
and electricity cooperation. The Iraqi List announces its
participation in the government" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 8/8)

"A judicial organization: The number of Iraqi refugees in Syria has
reached two million refugees" (Independent al-Watan, 8/8)

"Contacts over Israeli prisoner Shalit resume between Israel and
Hamas. Palestinian PM Hanieh proposes to give up his position in
exchange for national reconciliation" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th,
8/8)

"An Israeli denies contacts with Hamas over Shalit" (Independent
al-Watan, 8/8)

"The US provides the Lebanese army with military vehicles. A
Lebanese division enhances call for early elections" (Independent
al-Watan, 8/8)

"Lahoud encourages national unity. Berri denounces the governing
team's racist rhetoric. Al-Tayyar al-Hurr: Washington
intervened in the Lebanese by-elections" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th,
8/8)

"British author Robert Fisk and Nicholas Blanford [correspondent of
British daily 'The Thames']: Al-Maten by-elections are a blow to
the US supported
governing team" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 8/8)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"Mirage of Peace"

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


Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(8/8): "The US Administration is now trying to compensate for its
miserable failure in Iraq by advancing a vague peace process between
Israel and moderate Arabs.... The US Administration has no other
concern than pleasing Israel....

"Why does the US divide Arabs into moderates and non-moderates if it
intends to cement a just and comprehensive peace in the region...?

"We do not want to anticipate things. The date of the fall meeting
is approaching, but facts and information show that the Bush
administration intends only to strengthen American alliances in the
region and finish with the tough birth pangs of the new Middle
East...."

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

"When They Distribute Failure"

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

Ali Qasim, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote (8/8):
"US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, warned that the United States
might revise its strategy in Iraq in light of the political failures
in that country. In his warning Gates ignored the role that his
country is playing as an occupation power hindering any political
solution....

"The suspicious role the United States is playing in Iraq is not
confined only to obstruction, but it goes beyond that to
participation in fanning the flames of the ethnic and sectarian
conflict to a point that threatens Iraq's entity, existence, and
unity....

"Americans are trying to blame Iraqis and others for the failure in
Iraq, disregarding the occupation as the main and only reason for
all the troubles in Iraq and the gravest threat to the country....

"This American attempt will only confirm the failure more than deny
it, and deepen the crisis more than ease it.... The solution lies in
setting a timetable for the American withdrawal from Iraq....

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

"Unlimited Lies"

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

Dr Ibrahim Darraji, a commentator in independent al-Watan, wrote
(8/8): "Lebanese leaders Amin al-Jumayyil and Samir Ja'ja
fabricated lies particularly with regard to Syria, before and after
the Al-Matn by-elections....

"The problem with these lies is that they seek to create a
'Syriaphobia' in Lebanon; in other words, they seek to entrench a
racist anti-Syria concept among the coming generations. They also
forge history, distort reality, and threaten a dangerous future...."


Corbin

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