Cablegate: Shara, Syria/India, Nasrallah, Iraq, Palestinian


DE RUEHDM #0835/01 2271347
O 151347Z AUG 07





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Shara, Syria/India, Nasrallah, Iraq, Palestinian
Territories, Middle East Peace (8/15)

1. Summary: Syrian papers on August 15 reported a meeting with
journalists in Damascus by Vice President Shara on August 14
confirming that Syria has no intention of waging war against Israel
to restore occupied Golan, but he accused Israel for seeking "any
excuse to launch a war." "Israel knows we don't want war. We
should always be ready to respond to Israeli aggression, but Syria
will not start a war," Shara said. "People on Syria's streets do not
want war, although they will not accept anything less than Israeli
withdrawal from the whole of occupied Golan. The Arab initiative is
clear in this regard and we support it," Shara said. "Israel wants
any excuse to launch a war," Shara added saying that any
preparations Syria was making were defensive in nature." Shara
criticized the role of Saudi Arabia in the region, describing it as
"paralyzed." He said that President Asad proposed to hold a summit
with King Abdullah and President Mubarak, but "they were not
authorized to hold such a meeting," referring to the US. Shara also
denied claims by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the
existence of tension between his country and Iran. Shara described
relations between Syria and Iran as strategic, and based on
understanding and accord regarding regional issues. Shara also
reiterated Syria's position towards regional issues, particularly
those in Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.

On Syrian-Indian relations, papers featured the visit to India on
August 14 by FM Mouallem who called for a strategic partnership
between Syria and India, asking India to play a bigger role in the
peace process in the Middle East saying that New Delhi must use its
growing relations with Washington to promote stability in the
region. Mouallem conferred with senior Indian officials. Talks
tackled horizons of mutual cooperation between the two countries.
Mouallem also announced that President Asad would pay a visit to
India within a year to promote bilateral relations.

All papers featured a speech by Hizbollah SecGen Hassan Nasrallah on
August 14 commemorating the 1st anniversary of the July War.
Nasrallah warned Israel against launching another war against
Lebanon, saying any attempt to attack his country "will be faced
with a great surprise likely to change the fate of the war and the
region." He said that his group supports the mediation efforts by
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in the upcoming week in a bid to
reach a solution to the ten-month-old political impasse. "We
support a compromise in Lebanon and we warn the Lebanese against
attempts undertaken by the United States and some Lebanese
politicians to hamper any resolutions to the crisis," he said.
Nasrallah addressed Arabs, rather than their leaders, and thanked
them for their "moral support" during the war. "We did not ask for
more," he added. "We must all realize that had the resistance lost
the war, not only Lebanon, Syria and Palestine would have suffered
from negative repercussions but also Saudi Arabia, Jordan and
Egypt," Nasrallah said.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"Vice President Shara in an important meeting with Journalists: We
are committed to peace... We do not seek war... We reject
capitulation... We want the forthcoming Arab Summit in Damascus to
be a summit of solidarity... President Bush's peace Conference is
based on illusion and has no clear objectives... Syrian -Iranian
relations as strategic...." (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 8/15)

"Foreign Minister Mouallem continues his meetings in New Delhi and
discusses means of boosting cooperation and establishing a strategic
partnership with India" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 8/15)

"On the first anniversary of the Lebanese resistance victory and the
Israeli aggression defeat, Secretary General of Hizbollah Nasrallah:
We promise Zionists great surprises if they attack us... The
resistance revived hope of the Arab nation and presented an
alternative to liberate the land" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,

"Seven Palestinians martyred in a bloody day in Gaza. Israeli
Foreign Minister: Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is a big
mistake" (Independent al-Watan, 8/15)

"A massacre in Mosul. 175 Iraqis victimized by three car bombs. Nine
US soldiers killed. A US helicopter is downed" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 8/15)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:


"Shameful Achievements"


Omar Jaftali, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(8/15): "The American people definitely know that President Bush's
talk about achievements and victories in Iraq and Afghanistan is
deliberate deception given the number of deaths among US troops and
the huge material losses that the United States has suffered....

"In Afghanistan, Taliban controls most of the regions of this
war-stricken country, and the NATO forces failed to achieve
'miracles' in five years of occupation of Afghanistan....

"In Iraq, what US forces and mercenaries are doing is nothing but
deliberate killing of Iraqis, fragmentation of the Iraqi homeland,
and total destruction of the country, while the companies of
colonialist looters are pumping out Iraq's oil without controls....

"We wonder if the one million Iraqis killed in the war were members
of Al-Qa'eda....Who but the American occupation brought Al-Qaeda to

"Americans, more than anyone else, now realize that they are being
fought in Iraq by a popular resistance that rejects occupation and
defends its land and people. This resistance targets only the
foreign occupation army and mercenaries who are fighting under its
banner. Americans and all the nations of the world are fed up with
the lies and charlatanism of the US Administration and its
practices, which will remain a black blot in modern US history."

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

"Not Inciting against Iraqis, but Serving Them"

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

Ibrahim Darraji, an editorialist in independent al-Watan, wrote
(8/15): "Syria, through its hosting of 1.5 million Iraqi refugees,
is taking the biggest brunt and paying the tax of the American
occupation of Iraq in a way that is exhausting its economy and
infrastructure and increasing the suffering of Syrian citizens....

"Most of the Western promises of help for Syria to cope with the
Iraqi refugee problem remain just promises.... The Syrian
government must think in a realistic and practical way about how to
handle this crisis, to deal with the West in the same way and the
logic it understands, to make decisive decisions embodying Syria's
suffering, and to transfer the burden to the main party that caused

"We understand that pan-Arab, ethical, and human considerations that
made Syria open its border to Iraqi refugees, but the price must not
be paid by Syria alone. We are not inciting against Iraqis in Syria
but actually serving them by this call because the party that was
the reason behind their expulsion and displacement must bear the
responsibility and provide them with the requirements of a dignified

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

"Syrian Policy and Credibility of Peace-Making"

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

Ahmad Suwwan, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(8/15): "Syria, which sticks to the bases, principles, and elements

of a genuine, just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the region,
presents a model and example of political credibility, sound
decision-making, and successful analysis when it stresses that the
removal of the Israeli occupation from all the occupied Arab
territories will lead the region toward peace, security, stability,
calm, and constructive and fruitful cooperation....

"Syria has never been the problem; it has always been part of the
solution.... Israel, as the occupying power, is the problem, and it
must meet the requirements of a just peace.... The United States,
for its part, needs to be an honest broker, not a party biased
toward occupation...."

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

"One Year Past the July Aggression; How the Lebanese Resistance
turned Magic against the Magician"

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

Yunus Ibrahim, a commentator in government-owned Al-Ba'th, wrote
(8/15): "The July 2006 war upset balances, changed equations,
smashed Israel's arrogance, liberated the Arabs and helped them
break free from the complex of fear and lack of self confidence.
What Arabs need to do now is study history thoroughly to see what
the nation has come through over its long history. They will find
that success and victory are always linked to awareness,
determination, and faith, while failure is linked to division,
fragmentation, and pinning hopes on others for salvation...."


"Cheney's Wars"


Sa'id Musallam, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(8/15): "US Vice President Dick Cheney, who reportedly controls the
Bush administration completely, was the one who pushed this
administration toward foreign wars to fulfill his own ambitions,
primarily his financial greed, out of his instinctive love for
domination and hegemony and the use of force to subjugate

"Cheney embraces rancorous thought against Islam and Arabism....
Cheney's agenda for the next stage will focus on wars and violence
despite the many failures that his plan has sustained, whether in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or elsewhere. He is determined to open
fronts and divide the region using whatever time and military and
financial power are available to him, even if this ultimately leads
to the destruction of the empire over the heads of its hawks,
thinking that he will win what he personally seeks."


© Scoop Media

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