Cablegate: Unga, Syria/Israel, Peace Conference, Iraq, Us/Syria
DE RUEHDM #0975/01 2701313
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271313Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4225
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 7104
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4780
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3447
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7900
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 2019
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5345
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1515
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7610
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000975
DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ELA, INR/IC/CD, INR/R/MR: JPAUNESCU AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, AZAIBACK, AND DFOLEY,
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: UNGA, Syria/Israel, Peace Conference, Iraq, US/Syria
1. Summary: Syrian papers on September 27 reported meetings FM
Mouallem held on September 25 on the sidelines of the 62nd session
of the UN General Assembly in New York. He saw Russian FM SergeyQavrov, High Re
presentative of the EU Common Foreign policy and
Security Secretary-General of the Council Javier Solana, the
European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner,
Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari, and other European Foreign Ministers. A
commentary by Syrian Charles Kamleh, in government-owned Tishreen
criticized President Bush's UNGA speech saying that "Bush seeks to
expand and reactivate the UN role so it can shoulder the burden of
repairing what Bush spoiled and to cover up his violations against
it and against the world."
Independent al-Watan on September 26 quoted a well informed Syrian
political source as denying Western and US media account of the
Israeli infiltration into Syrian airspace describing the story of
Israeli warplanes landing as "a story modeled along Western movies
All major dailies on September 25 ran a statement to the BBC by
Information Minister Mohsen Bilal on September 24 saying that Syria
had not yet received an invitation to attend the upcoming
US-sponsored international conference on the Middle East, saying
"when this invitation is sent to Syria, it will be examined."
"Syria reiterates the importance of taking into consideration the
comprehensive peace in the region and its requirements which provide
for establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as
its capital and the Palestinian refugees' right of return," Minister
Bilal said. He added the Conference must also take into
consideration the restoration of occupied Golan to Syria.
Government-owned Al-Ba'th on September 27 featured an editorial by
German journalist Volker Perthes published in the "Herald Tribune"
on September 20 praising Syria's role in hosting Iraqi refugees and
its role in any serous peace effort in the Middle East. Perthes
encouraged endorsement of the Syrian-European Association Agreement
as saying it will boost economic reforms in Syria pave the way for a
political dialogue with Syria.
Papers on September 26 reported that the US Congress will vote this
week on a non-binding resolution on partitioning Iraq as proposed by
Senator Joseph Biden.
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"The UN Assembly begins its deliberations. UN Secretary General Ban
Ki Moon: Ending occupation is needed to achieve peace. Qatari
President Sheikh Hamed Bin Khalifa: The Iraqi crisis must be tackled
through the UN. Bush criticizes the UN for focusing on Israel.
President Sarkozy calls for establishing a new world order"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 9/26)
"Damascus denies the story of Israeli landing and considers it as a
fiction based on Western Movies" (Seni-Independent al-Watan, 9/26)
"Damascus will examine any invitation it receives from the US to
attend the international peace meeting, which Washington has decided
to hold next November" (Al Watan, 9/25)
"The Austrian Chancellor reiterates Syria's essential and pivotal
role in reviving the ME peace process" (Government-owned Tishreen,
"The Herald Tribune: Hosting displaced Iraqis is reason to respect
Syria's positions" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 9/27)
"Amnesty International: The world community has failed to tackle the
crisis of Iraqi refugees and left the burdens on Syria and Jordan"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 9/25
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"Under the First and Biggest Dome"
Charles Kamleh, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(9/27): "President Bush's UNGA speech was nothing but a speech of
wishes to see the world as Washington wants it to be. This is
especially true in his statement that he looks forward to a strong
and active United Nations and a greater UN role.... Bush has his
motives behind wanting the United Nations to be strong and active!
Strong so it can shoulder the burden of repairing what Bush spoiled
and active to cover up his violations against the UN and against the
"Yes, no one can deny the growing and pressing international need
for a strong and influential United Nations as the optimal framework
for dealing with the future challenges, but the world today is
absolutely not in need of a United Nations that favors the strong
and is only for the strong. This is what puts the United Nations
today to the test."
"The Blatant Contradiction"
Muhammad Khair al-Jamali, an editorialist in government-owned
Al-Thawra, wrote (9/24): "There is a contradiction between the US
position toward the Iranian nuclear file and its rejection of the
latest IAEA resolution calling for a WMD-free zone in the Middle
"This contradiction is so clear in the endless number of US stances
on the nuclear issue in the world and in the baseless accusations
the United States made against countries to cover up its aggressive
policy it pursues in coordination with Israel....
"If the US is really serious about preventing nuclear proliferation,
it must prove its seriousness in pursuing a clear, consistent policy
without double standards when dealing with nuclear issues and
nuclear armament and must ask Israel, before anyone else, to remove
its nuclear weapons and abide by the provisions of the IAEA, or else
it should stop falsely accusing others of things Israel is proved to
"What Is Behind Enlarging Syria to the Nuclear Level?"
Khurshid Dali, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Watan, wrote
(9/24): "The US and Israeli media leaks about a Syrian-Nuclear
cooperation mean more direct political pressure on Syria in
preparation for an operation against it....
"If the situation remains as it is, it is not unlikely that there
will be calls for sending international inspectors to Syria under
the pretext of searching for nuclear weapons....
"Linking a possible Syrian nuclear capability to North Korea and
Iran is part of a studied US-Israeli campaign, whose goals have
already been set....
"Israel wants to dismantle the strategic relationship between Syria
and Iran, while the United States wants to put more pressure on Iran
with in order to impose rigorous sanctions on it and force Pyongyang
to dismantle its nuclear weapons....
"There is also the goal of keeping Syria in a defensive position
from within the walls of Damascus and not allowing it to play a
regional role toward what is happening in Lebanon and Iraq.... This
would isolate Syria and force it to beg peace with Israel in any
"Gaza, an Entity Hostile to Whom?"
An unsigned editorial in government-owned Al-Ba'th on (9/24) reads:
"The Israeli declaration of Gaza as a hostile entity and the
complete US adoption of the decision raises questions about what
Washington and Tel Aviv are planning for the Strip and consequently
the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, following long months of
pressure and a chocking siege and amid rumors about a climate for a
settlement being prepared for under US supervision....
"By adopting the Israeli declaration, US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice sent an extremely meaningful message to those who
are still talking about the vagueness of the US call for peace and
wagering on a balanced US role or one that is capable of sponsoring
a peace process between Arabs and Israel....