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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05DAMASCUS5122 2005-09-28 13:37:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Damascus
Cable title:  

SARG DENIES HAVING THREATENED MURR

Tags:   PGOV PREL KPAO SY 
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O 281337Z SEP 05
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4604
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
					  UNCLAS DAMASCUS 005122 


PARIS FOR ZEYA; LONDON FOR TSOU
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/PPD: DBENZE AND AFERNANDEZ,

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPAO SY
SUBJECT: SARG DENIES HAVING THREATENED MURR



1. (U) The official Syrian Press Agency (SANA) September 28
published a denial of statements attributed to Lebanese
Defense Minister Elias Murr in which he said that Syrian
intelligence officials in Lebanon threatened him months
before he was severely injured in a car-bombing assassination
attempt. Murr made his accusation in an interview he gave in
Europe after the maiming of Lebanese journalist May Chidiac
in a September 25 Beirut car bombing.



2. (U) The SANA statement quoted an anonymous
"information source" denouncing Murr's statements and calling
them "lies and fabrications." The source said the Murr
statement contradicts "the simplest rules of credibility and
facts." The source also expressed astonishment that Murr
would try to spoil the positive atmosphere created by Syrian
cooperation with the Mehlis team investigating the
assassination of Hariri. The source was quoted as saying
that Murr was guilty of joining the chorus of those "accusing
Syria right and left."



3. (U) The SANA statement was carried on the front page in
all three Arabic-language dailies, as well as on the front
page of the English-language daily Syria Times (all
government-owned).

SECHE