INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Oic Summit, Syria,

Published: Thu 8 Dec 2005 01:31 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAMASCUS 006392
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/S:STHIBEAULT
VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, DBENZE AND AFERNANDEZ,
IIP/G/NEA-SA RWINCHESTER
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA
E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: OIC Summit, Syria,
Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Palestinian Territories (12/8)
1. Summary: Syrian papers today focused on the summit of the
Organization of Islamic Conference in Mecca. Papers reported
FM Shara's representation of President Asad and the meetings
he held on the sidelines of the conference with Iraqi
President Talabani, King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa of
Bahrain, Arab League SecGen Amr Mousa, and Palestinian PM
Ahmad Ahmed Qurei. Headlines featured the address of Saudi
Arabia's King Abdullah at the opening session in which he
called for moderation, saying "Islamic unity can't be
achieved through the spilling of blood, as claimed by
deviant people with their dark ideas." Speeches delivered at
the opening session of the Islamic Summit underlined the
importance of enhancing solidarity with all OIC countries to
face challenges and threats targeting them. They also
highlighted the necessity of resisting all extreme trends
against Islam as well as deepening cooperative relations
among Islamic countries in all domains.
All papers reported that Syrian anti-terrorism forces seized
a bomb-making factory in Aleppo containing all necessary
materials and tools to make bombs as well as the means for
training in terrorist operations and carrying out bombings
against public installations, government buildings, and
security offices. They anti-terrorism forces also stormed
the hideout of a terrorist Takfiri group [those who accuse
other Muslims of being infidels] and critically wounded two
of its members. The documents that the forces seized from
the group enabled them to uncover plans for monitoring
government officials and buildings and public installations.
Before they died of their critical wounds, the two wounded
terrorists admitted, that the Takfiri group intended to
establish contacts with similar groups operating in the
countries neighboring Syria. They also admitted that they
planned to rob banks, shops, and financial establishments to
finance their terrorist operations. In their recent
operations against Takfiri terrorists, the anti-terrorism
forces seized several weapons and explosive caches in
various hideouts in Aleppo Governorate and the Damascus
suburbs. Some of the weapons entered the country from
Lebanon. They were seized during an attempt to take them
back to Lebanon, fleeing from the security pursuit.
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"Foreign Minister Al-Shara represents President Asad at the
opening session of the extraordinary Islamic Summit in
Mecca. Shara reviews developments in Iraq with Iraqi
President Talabani and agrees to intensify contacts. Shara
reviews current developments and the situation in the
Palestinian territories with King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa
of Bahrain, Arab League SecGen Amr Mousa, and Palestinian PM
Ahmad Ahmed Qurei" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 12/8)
"Anti-terrorism forces seize a bomb-making factory and storm
hideouts of terrorist Takfiri group in Aleppo and Damascus
suburbs. Terrorists monitored government officials and
buildings and public installations. Military rifles, machine
guns, bombs, explosive materials, detonators, and various
communication devices were seized. Some of the weapons
entered the country from Lebanon and were seized during an
attempt to take them back to Lebanon, fleeing from the
security pursuit" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/8)
"Berri [Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament]: Pressure on
Syria has nothing to do with the Al-Hariri assassination.
New York Times: The international investigation is cracking"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 12/8)
"Al-Chaalan [former Iraqi Defense Minister]: Syria has
embraced thousands of Iraqis; aggression toward Syria is a
violation of Arab values" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/8)
"Bush highlights Iraqi reconstruction to counter deep
mistrust of his policy. Death toll rises to 40 in Iraqi
Police Academy bombings" (Government-owned Syria Times,
12/8)
"An Israeli raid on Gaza; One Palestinian martyred, 8
injured. Scores of Palestinians arrested in the 1948
territory. The Palestinian Legislative Council amends the
election law" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 12/8)
"Tehran takes US threats seriously. Ivanov [Russian Minister
of Defense]: We have full right to sell weapons to Iran"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 12/8)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"A professional political Charlatan"
Khalid al-Ashhab, an editorialist in government-owned Al-
Thawra, on (12/8) attacked Walid Junblatt, leader of the
Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, without naming him:
"He is a charlatan and a backstabbing ally who for over 30
years loudly applauded Syria's role in Lebanon's security
and stability and talked about the brotherhood of blood and
fate and the strategic alliance and then suddenly made a U-
turn in a way that can only be interpreted in the chemistry
of treachery and the policy of betrayal....
"His [Junblatt's] statement that Syria is threatening
Lebanon's security and stability means that in the past 30
years he was one of two things: A professional political
charlatan who lied to and misled his people through his
secret or public alliance with the party that -- as he
SIPDIS
claims today -- sabotages Lebanon and threatens its security
and stability, in which case he deserves to be stoned by the
Lebanese people before anyone else; or he is a nave idiot
who has been tricked for 30 years by a simple political
game, in which case he does not deserve to be a leader, a
symbol, or a representative of a people or part of a
people...."
"'Shebaa' Is a Crack in the Wall of Lebanese Isolationists"
Ali Al-Siwan, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (12/8): "The isolationist Lebanese who bet on
Detlev Mehlis to harm Syria will always continue their anti-
Syria efforts....
"These Lebanese approach the issue of the Shebaa Farms from
the perspective of collusion with the enemy and abandonment
of pan-Arab commitments. They deny Hizbollah's sacrifices
and Syria's efforts to save Lebanon from sedition and
partition....
"These Lebanese isolationists are arguing about the identity
of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms -- whether Syrian or
Lebanese -- in an attempt to withdraw Lebanon from the Arab-
Zionist conflict....
"These Lebanese are in a dilemma: They do not want to accept
that Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory, so that these farms
will not remain an excuse for Hizbollah to keep its weapons.
At the same time, they do not want to take into
consideration Syria's reasoning for delaying the demarcation
of the Lebanese-Syrian border until after the liberation of
the farms from the Israeli enemy, so that the June 4, 1967
border will not remain an excuse in Syria's insistence upon
international legitimacy in any significant peace
process...."
"Tehran's Strength Is in its Solid Position"
Hanan Hamad, a commentator in government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (12/8): "Tehran's reaction to the recent Israeli
threat against Iranian nuclear installations was stronger
than usual....
"Israel and the United States know that Iran is not an easy
target.... Iran has used its strong cards skillfully,
forcing the other side to withdraw threats to refer its
nuclear file to the Security Council and even to negotiate
with it over security in Iraq....
"Iran is an example that must be followed in confronting the
tyranny of force and adhering to the power of resolve...."
Seche
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