wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06ANKARA4706 2006-08-11 15:40:00 SECRET Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY PREFERS SUPPORTING ROLE IN LEBANON PKO

Tags:   PGOV PREL TU SY LE 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (S) SUMMARY: Ambassador advised MFA Deputy U/S Uzumcu of
US efforts to finalize a UN resolution on Lebanon. He urged
the GOT to make public its support for a resolution that
would bring about an urgent cessation of hostilities, the
withdrawal of Israeli forces, and the establishment of a
robust international stabilization force (PKO). Uzumcu
voiced Turkey's support for a robust PKO under UN auspices,
which would be the most credible option regionally, and said
the GOT has begun internal deliberations on a Turkish
contribution. Uzumcu suggested a simultaneous progress
toward ending the violence in both Lebanon and Gaza.
Ambassador urged a serious Turkish role in any Lebanon PKO.
He said Lebanon is obviously very urgent and the difficulty
of ending hostilities there should not be further
complicated, but also recognized the importance of working on
Palestinian issues, too. There was a brief discussion of
engagement with Syria. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) Deputy U/S Uzumcu welcomed the Ambassador's review of
efforts to quickly finalize a UNSCR on Lebanon that calls for
an urgent cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of Israeli
forces and the expansion of UNIFIL into a robust
stabilization force capable of managing a cease-fire,
resolving humanitarian issues and facilitating the Israeli
withdrawal (reftel). Uzumcu inquired about the timing of an
Israeli withdrawal in relation to an expanded international
force. Ambassador stressed that it would be irresponsible
for the UN to demand a withdrawal in advance of the placement
of a stabilization force. Hezbollah violence would continue,
and the Israelis would as well.

PLAYING A SUPPORTING ROLE


--------------------------





3. (C) Uzumcu welcomed a stabilization force under a UN
umbrella as the most acceptable regionally and one that
Turkey could embrace, but acknowledged that weaknesses in the
current UNIFIL mandate must be addressed. He said the MFA
met with the Turkish General Staff (TGS) on August 9 to
discuss possible GOT contributions to a Lebanon PKO. He
repeated Turkey's interest in logistics (including use of
facilities in Turkey), humanitarian relief, health care and
possibly force protection, but not combat troops per se. The
GOT is reluctant to provide troops to support implementation
of UNSCR 1559. Trkey, Uzumcu said, does not want to be at
the forefront of such a mission.



4. (C) Ambassador suggested that Turkey consider a Lebanon
PKO airlift -- of which the military here has plenty -- and
equipping/training the LAF. The latter will be important to
strengthen the LAF's abilities to independently ensure
Lebanon's sovereignty and would build off of Turkey's
experience with Afghan, Iraqi and other forces. Uzumcu
agreed that Turkey should be able to help the LAF but
reserved comment on air support pending further discussions
with TGS.

DON'T FORGET PALESTINE


--------------------------





5. (S) The GOT is feeling significant pressure from the
public to denounce the Israeli effort, Uzumcu stated, and
said he had advised Israeli Ambassador Avivi that the GOT
would maintain a publicly critical stance on Israeli
activities in Lebanon. He expressed concern that the crisis
in Lebanon has taken priority over the Palestinian conflict
and suggested an effort to bring about a simultaneous
cease-fire in both areas. Some are saying that Israel will
reinvigorate its actions against the Palestinians once it is
no longer engaged in Lebanon. The Ambassador acknowledged
the need to resolve both issues but emphasized that the
significant level of violence in Lebanon called for immediate
action. A resolution of this conflict would allow the
international community to focus on the Palestinian problem.

ENGAGING SYRIA


--------------------------





6. (S) Uzumcu also said that the West will need to engage

ANKARA 00004706 002 OF 002


Syria. Ambassador reminded Uzumcu of our views on Syria, but
said that now may be a good time for Turkey, if it wishes, to
use its relationship with Syria to support Lebanon, a UN
resolution, an international stabilization force and the
return of Israeli soldiers held hostage. Uzumcu agreed, and
said Turkey had already engaged Syria on this issue. Israeli
Ambassador Avivi had indicated to the GOT that Israel would
consider withdrawing its forces from Sheba'a Farms as part of
an overall package on Lebanon. The GOT intended to approach
Syria about disavowing its claims to the region. Syrian
Deputy FM Arnous will visit Ankara on August 11 for the first
of a series of regular high-level meetings, and the GOT will
use that opportunity to encourage Syria's cooperation with
the international community.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON