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Cablegate: Syria/Saudi Arabia, Syria/Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0847/01 2321025
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201025Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4062
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 7054
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4732
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3400
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7861
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1969
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5295
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1489
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7582

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000847

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/Saudi Arabia, Syria/Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian
Territories, Cold War (8/17-19)


1. Summary: Syrian papers on August 19 featured a statement by an
official source expressing regret over a Saudi official statement
regarding statements attributed to VP Shara, which "were
unrightfully changed," stressing at the same time Syria's insistence
on not being dragged into disputes that do not serve anybody except
enemies of the two countries and enemies of the Arab nation. The
source indicated that "allegations that the Vice President had used
impolite words against the Saudi Kingdom, were groundless,"
reiterating that the Syrian leadership and Syrian people "are keen
to maintain best relations with the leadership and brotherly people
of the Saudi Kingdom, and to work together on mending the rift in
inter Arab relations and to activate them to face the dangerous
challenges targeting stability and security of the region." The
source added that "it was no secret in and outside the region, that
Syria has always been working to achieve efficient Arab solidarity,
and this is confirmed by the Arab League, and Syria's positions at
the successive Arab summits, and commitment to the implementation of
these summits' decisions, providing the conditions for their
success." The source went on to say that "it was also no secret
that Syria has borne a heavy burden because of her Arab
commitment,... articularly following the occupation of Iraq, and
its catastrophic repercussions on the unity and security of Iraq,
and doubting its Arab identity, when Syria played a host to no less
than 1.5 million displaced Iraqis without complaining, or receiving
aid from anyone. The statement added that "no one could ignore that
Palestine is the central cause..."

On Syrian-Iraqi relations, papers reported that Iraqi Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki is scheduled to start an official three-day visit to
Syria on Monday August 20 upon the invitation of PM Mohammad Naji
Otri. Al-Maliki, accompanied by an official and technical
delegation, is due to hold talks with Syrian leaders, including
President Asad, VP Shara and PM Otri, on means to develop bilateral
cooperation in various fields. Talks will also focus on the current
security and political situation in Iraq, bilateral cooperation and
the file of Iraqi refugees in Syria.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"An official Syrian source expresses regret over a statement by the
Saudi Government: No impolite words were uttered against the Saudi
Kingdom... We are keen to maintain better relations with it... We
work to achieve efficient Arab solidarity... Syria bears a heavy
burden because of her pan-Arab commitment... The Palestinian cause
is a central issue to Syria and to Arabs... Syrian efforts paved the
way for the Mecca Accord" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/19)

"Upon the invitation of Syrian Prime Minister Ottri, Iraqi Prime
Minister al-Malki arrives in Damascus next Monday on an official
visit" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/19)

"A sit-in in front of the UN mission headquarters in Damascus in
solidarity with prisoners of occupied Golan and Farhat and Shams"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/19)

"A sit-in in Sidon holds the ruling team responsible for current
crises in Lebanon. Lebanese Nationalist factions: US Ambassador
Feltman and US Secretary of State Rice are blocking any efforts on
Lebanese reconciliation. Speaker of Lebanese Parliament Berri: A
national unity Government paves the way for presidential elections"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/19)

"Violent clashes in Nahr al-Bared. Nationalist factions: We will
not allow the governing team to lead Lebanon towards the unknown"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 8/19)

"Amid Lebanese political conflict, the opposition adheres to
reconciliation. Lebanese Parliament Speaker Berri: Election of a
President without a two-thirds quorum is a piracy" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 8/18)

"President Bush acknowledges his failure in Iraq. New York Times:

The White House is working to reschedule withdrawal of US troops
from Iraq" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/19)

"Iraqi political leaders meet to discus their political crisis.
Occupation forces close 18 Iraqi publications 'to promote
democracy'" (Independent al-Watan, 8/19)

"The occupation forces wage retaliatory raids against Iraqis ... The
killing of three US soldiers raises the death toll to 3705"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/18)

"Israeli forces attack two refugee camps in Nablus. Israel resumes
assassination of Palestinian activists in the West Bank"
(Independent al-Watan, 8/19)

" Strategic Russian warplanes conduct sorties over the Atlantic and
Pacific ocean. NATO warplanes keep surveillance" (Government-owned
Al-Ba'th, 8/19)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

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

"The Secret World Government"

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

Isam Dari, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishreen, wrote (8/18):
"A dangerous book by Cherep Spiridovich, an officer in the Russian
army, entitled "The Secret World Government," was published in the
1920's about the tactics of world Zionism to control the world....

"Eight decades after the publication of the book, developments have
proven that the author was right, with the only difference that the
government controlling the world is no longer secret.

"The US Administration, which is the official front for the
neoconservative network, interferes in the affairs of other
countries in a direct and exposed way, while the 'secret world
government' is doing this secretly....

"It is no secret to anyone these days that neoconservatives are the
new preachers for Zionism, as they believe in Biblical and Talmudic
myths that have nothing to do with the essence of the Jewish faith."


"Neoconservatives, who cannot be separated from the administration
of President George Bush, are the ones who are drawing up policies,
preparing plans, and making decisions 'secretly' before they turn
into declared official policies implemented by their executive
tools, such as President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice, and even Vice President Dick Cheney, who is a member of the
neoconservative network....

"With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the withdrawing European
role, the secret world government no longer needed secrecy. It
found that the circumstances were in its favor so it publicly
announced its hostility toward humanity and began to interfere
openly in the big and small affairs of sovereign states, not
hesitating to use the strike military force to demolish the existing
structures here and there and redraw maps in line with the ideas in
which this team believes.

"The Bush administration launches wars and encourages terrorism
while claiming to fight it.... This administration also takes the
side of killers and terrorists and turns a blind eye to their
military nuclear programs while it wants to deprive other countries
of their right to possess nuclear energy for peaceful purposes....

"This administration is not ashamed to hint that the Pakistani
president must give up his post, for example, or to reject the
election of this person or that as president of Lebanon, or to adopt
hostile positions toward international liberation movements and
describe them as terrorists, or to torpedo the will of the
Palestinian people, who elected their government through the ballot
box. This administration does not feel ashamed when it considers a

government change by free and democratic means to be an encroachment
upon the American national security, or when it calls big and
influential countries to account if any of their officials meets
with an official from a country that this administration antagonizes
and works to isolate...."

---------------------------------
"Who Is Instructed by the Other?"

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

Ahmad Dawwa, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote
(8/17): "Lebanese Army Commander General Michel Sulayman stated
recently that Fatah-al-Islam is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, not with
the Syrian intelligence, and that what Americans offered to the
Lebanese Army were words and promises and little ammunition.

"Sulayman's remarks about Fatah al-Islam refute the accusations that
both Americans and the March 14 group in Lebanon leveled against
Syria.... Where will the weapons that the American planes shipped to
Lebanon go...?

"Was the alleged support for the Lebanese Army a cover to transfer
the weapons to other parties...?

"Shipping weapons to Lebanon under the cover of supporting the
Lebanese Army was a fact, and it was publicly announced by the Bush
administration through Secretary of State Rice, who loves to combine
diplomacy and saber-rattling. If those weapons were not delivered
to the party that was theoretically meant to receive them, were they
shipped to be in the service of American creative chaos in Lebanon
and the region...?

"We wonder if General Sulayman will be spared the attacks and
accusations of the March 14 team after speaking the truth about
Fatah al-Islam and the American aid to the Lebanese Army."

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

"The Lying Cord Is Short"

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

Mundhir Khalil Id, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (8/17): "Recent bombings in Mosul and other areas in Iraq, in
which hundreds of Iraqis were killed, showed the falsehood of US
President Bush's allegations and refuted the claims by his generals
that the occupation forces have begun to make security progress in
Iraq....

"Bush, who lost his mind after the recent resignation of his chief
adviser, Karl Rove, turned all of Iraq into a mass grave for Iraqis
as a result of the increasing mistakes of his administration, his
intransigent refusal to withdraw American troops from that country,
and his insistence on prevailing over terrorism that Iraq would not
have experienced without the occupation of the country and the
presence of the invading forces there...."

Corbin

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