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Cablegate: Lebanon: Media Reaction - November 20, 2008

O 201415Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3612
NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA PRIORITY

UNCLAS BEIRUT 001657


STATE FOR NEA/ELA - IRWIN, NEA/ELA - LAWSON, NEA/PPD, R,
INR/R/MR, INR-PARENT,
NSC - ABRAMS/RAMCHAND/YERGER/MCDERMOTT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL KMDR OPRC KPAO KISL KPAL LE
SUBJECT: Lebanon: Media Reaction - November 20, 2008

Atmospherics:
-------------

Visits by the British Foreign Minister and the French Prime Minister
to Beirut were given top billing in the Lebanese press. Security
investigations and the continuous pursuit of Fatah Al-Islam leaders
were also underscored in headlines and front-page lead stories. The
press also highlighted the eighth report by the U.N. Secretary
General on the implementation of UNSCR 1701. A commentator noted
that the French and British visits reflect "renewed" European
interest in Lebanon as helping stability in the region. The
Europeans seem satisfied with the developments in Lebanon following
the Doha Agreement, and are emphasizing the "positive Syrian role in
these developments." One editorialist noted that Lebanon should
put, once and for all, an end to its fears of a deal at its expense
between the international community and Syria.

Selected Headlines
-------------------

"Awad's (the new prince of Fatah Al-Islam) Fate Will Be Decided
Within Hours: He Should Either Turn Himself In or His Hiding Place
Will Be Invaded (by the Lebanese Army" Pro-Syria Ad-Diyar

"Ban Ki Moon In His Eighth Report About UNSCR 1701: The Countries in
the Region Should Respect the Ban on Weapons" Pro-Hariri
Al-Mustaqbal

"The French Prime Minister in Beirut Today; British Contacts To
Continue Implementation of International Resolutions in Lebanon"
Pro-Hariri Ash-Sharq

"Miliband to Al-Hayat: A Window of Opportunities in the Region and
We Do not Seek to Change the Iranian Regime" pan-Arab Al-Hayat

"Fillion (the French Prime Minister) in Beirut Boosts the Issue of
Privatization" Independent Al-Balad

Block Quotes:
------------Q

"Miliband in Beirut: Linkage Versus Divisions?" an editorial by
Rafiq Khoury in centrist Al-Anwar (11/20):

"...Miliband believes that the region's crises are interlinked and
need a comprehensive solution. He believes that the only way to
solve the Palestinian conflict is to deal with it as part of a
comprehensive solution that would also include the Iranian nuclear
discord in addition to other issues. Miliband used this same logic
during his visit to Beirut when he noted that there will be no
stability in the world without stability in the Middle East and no
stability in the Middle East without stability in Lebanon. ...In
contrast, President (sic!) Obama, who will be facing unprecedented
challenges,...has to think in a different way. It is dangerous for
the United States to insist on solving all crises together because
this will lead to no solutions anywhere. ...As for Beirut, the time
has come to put a stop to all fears about possible deals with Syria
at Lebanon's expense every time a European or an American official
visits Syria or Iran. ...Everyone is saying what Miliband said that
'we have not lost our focus on Lebanon's importance,' and like Rice
said, 'Washington is not prepared to make a deal at Lebanon's
expense...' What is important is that the Lebanese themselves play
their role in building their state in order to protect Lebanon's
future."

Sison

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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