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05DAMASCUS5971 2005-11-16 15:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Damascus
Cable title:  

Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/China, Syria/US,

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E.O.12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/China, Syria/US,
Iraq, Palestinian Territories (11/16)

1. Summary: All Syrian papers reported the visit to Bejing
of a Syrian MFA delegation and cited a statement by a
Chinese Deputy FM rejecting politicization of the
International Investigation Commission report and rejecting
any economic sanctions on Syria.

Government-owned Al-Thawra reported an AFP interview with
Egyptian FM Abul-Ghait encouraging Syria and Mehlis to show
more flexibility about the place to question Syrian
witnesses, saying that there would be no problem about this
issue if there were good will between Syria and Mehlis. The
same paper reported a statement by US Ambassador to Cairo
Ricciardone, following his meeting with Arab League SecGen
Amr Mousa, that cooperation between Syria and the UN is what
counts, regardless of the location and the way the IIC
handles the investigation.

All papers reported a statement by Yemeni President Saleh
subsequent to his visit to Japan, France and the US,
emphasizing the importance of the continuing dialogue with
Syria, which has confirmed Syria's cooperation with the
International Investigation Commission.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:
"Egyptian FM Abul-Ghait and US Ambassador in Cairo confirm:
No problem about the place of questioning Syrian witnesses"
(Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/16)
"China rejects any politicization of the international
investigation commission. Yemeni President Saleh reiterates
the importance of dialogue between Syria, France and the US"
(Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 11/16)
"Speaker of the People's Assembly Mahmoud al-Abrash and
Information Minister Mahdi Dakhlallah discuss parliamentary
and media cooperation with a delegation representing the
Brazilian Communist Party led by its Chairman Renato Rabilo,
who emphasizes full support for Syria" (Government-owned
Tishreen, 11/16)
"Iranian FM Mottaki reiterates the strength of Syrian-
Iranian relations: Iranian government, Iranian President and
Iranian people support Syria" (Government-owned Tishreen,
"In a message of support and solidarity, the Algerian
National Council rejects pressure on Syria: It reflects the
influence of Zionist lobby and Israeli strategy" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 11/16)
"Kuwaiti Information Minister Al-Rasheed stresses
credibility of Syrian policy in dealing with regional and
international changes: What is circulated in some of our
media doesn't represent the whole Kuwaiti people"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 11/16)
"Abbas accuses Israel of enflaming a civil war among
Palestinians. Israel and the Palestinian Authority reach an
agreement on opening the border crossings. Hamas rejects the
agreement" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 11/16)
"Al-Jaafari participates in the preliminary meeting for the
Iraqi reconciliation conference in Cairo. Killing of three
US marines and scores of gunmen in Al-Abidi" (Government-
owned Al-Thawra, 11/16)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

"Adopting US Discourse"

Ahmad Dawwa, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
commented: "Some Lebanese politicians are not ashamed to
adopt publicly the US discourse toward Syria, yet they
express surprise at President Asad's remark, in his recent
speech, that Lebanon, under the current government, has
turned into a passageway, a base, and a factory for
conspiracies against Syria.

"A Lebanese politician said that the problem is not with the
Syrian people but with the Syrian regime; this is exactly
what the US Secretary of State and other American officials
are saying. Let this politician visit any part of Syria and
he will find that his problem is with all the Syrian

"There is no doubt that there isn't any problem between the
Syrian people and the Lebanese people and their nationalist
forces, which have begun to express their rejection of the
attempt to place the country under foreign trusteeship which
has cost Lebanon its ability to control its political
decisions. This increases the dangers that threaten Lebanon
and the whole region. Regrettably, many Lebanese officials
realize this, but they try to mislead their people by making
statements that cause them to sink deeper into the American
and Western schemes day after day....

"The Syrian people know full well that the Lebanese
parliamentary majority does not represent the popular
majority, and that the Lebanese nationalist forces, which
are known for their national and pan-Arab positions, will
always be on the side of Syria, which joined them in
confronting the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the siege of
Beirut and contributed to the liberation of the south."

"The attempt to harm cohesion between the Syrian people and
leadership is a conspiracy aimed at serving the foreign
pressure on Syria...."

"US Record of Human Rights"

Muhammad Ali Buza, an editorialist in government-owned Al-
Thawra, wrote: "The United States, under the current
administration of neoconservatives and Zionist rightists,
should be the last to speak of democracy and human

"The US Administration is committing serious human rights
violations, systematic mass killings, genocides, arrests,
and brutal torture in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the
prisons of Abu-Ghurayb, Bagram, Guantanamo, and other secret
detention centers in some Eastern European countries....

"No one in Syria, the region, or the world needs the
democracy of Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Bolton, and the other
hawks. No one needs their advice, dictates, and fatal
humanism, which they revive when they need and employ in the
service of their belligerent plans, with or without the
cover of international legitimacy. None of these peoples,
certainly not the Arabs, is indebted to the United States or
to this administration. It is this administration that owes
them not only an apology -- as this would not be enough --
but also an effort to atone for all its crimes and wrong
policies and to stop interfering and tampering with
security, stability, and peace...."

"Forging of Facts"

Muhammad Khair al-Jammali, a commentator in government-owned
Al-Thawrah, commented: "President George Bush has accused
Syria of threatening and destabilizing the Lebanese
government and called on Damascus to cooperate fully with
the international investigation commission into the Al-
Hariri assassination and to stop exporting violence and
begin importing democracy.

"US officials and their allies in Paris and London are
accusing Syria of things that they themselves are
practicing: violence, terrorism, spread of destructive
chaos, intimidation of the countries of the region, and
sponsorship of the agents who implement their orders and
serve their destructive colonialist plans....

"When President Asad discussed the Lebanese, Iraqi, and
Palestinian situations in his speech, he put the Arab
peoples in the picture of developments and explained the
dangers Syria and the Arab nation are facing. He did not
threaten anyone or try to export violence and instability.

"The real violence and intimidation is represented by the US
Administration's threats to change governments, impose
sanctions, and invade countries.... The US Administration
will continue to accuse Syria of pursuing policies that it
itself is pursuing -- policies that threaten regional and
international stability -- as long as it is under the
pressure of its domestic and foreign crises, which were
caused by its hypocrisy, its big mistakes in the war on
Iraq, and its endeavors to dominate the world and support
Israel in its aggression against the Arabs and their rights
and international legitimacy.

"As for Syria, it will stick to its human and pan-Arab
positions. Through the cohesion of its people, the firmness
of its leadership, and the support of free men in the Arab
nation and the world, Syria will be able to confront the
pressure and speak the truth about all the campaigns of
intimidation against it and all the policies of forgery
pursued by the forces that have ambitions in Syria, Lebanon,
Iraq, Palestine, and all the Arab land...."