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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08STATE55965
2008-05-25 22:36:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Secretary of State
Cable title:  

MGLBO1: LEBANON MONITORING GROUP SITUATION

Tags:   AEMR  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  MARR  PREL  PINR  AMGT  LB 
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						UNCLAS STATE 055965 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT LB
SUBJECT: MGLBO1: LEBANON MONITORING GROUP SITUATION
REPORT NO. 27

--------------------------------------------
SLEIMAN SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT OF LEBANON
--------------------------------------------



1. (SBU) Parliament elected Michel Sleiman president,
with 118 votes cast in his favor, Embassy Beirut confirms.
Six MPs cast blank ballots. Media report the three
remaining ballots included a symbolic vote for Rafiq
Hariri and "all the martyred MPs." (Ops/Embassy Beirut e-
mail, AFP)



2. (U) In his statement to parliament, Sleiman called
for national unity and reconciliation. He reaffirmed
Lebanon's respect for UNSC resolutions, including support
for the Special Tribunal. He said the "resistance" had
been a necessity, but the "achievements of the resistance
should not be exploited in internal disputes." (Open
Source Center, al-Jazeera)



3. (U) Sleiman highlighted the Israeli occupation of
Shebaa farms and stressed the need for a national
strategic stance that would benefit from the lessons of
the resistance. (Open Source Center, al-Jazeera)



4. (U) Sleiman called for "brotherly relations" between
Lebanon and Syria based on mutual respect for sovereignty.
(Open Source Center, al-Jazeera)



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



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


BERRI SWIPES AT U.S.; QATARI EMIR DECLARES LEBANON WINNER


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



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





5. (U) In his introductory statement, Speaker Nabih
Berri thanked a range of Arab and non-Arab international
actors. He thanked the United States for concluding
Lebanon was not the place to "carry out" its objectives
for the Middle East. (Open Source Center, al-Jazeera)



6. (U) Speaking after Sleiman, Qatari Emir Hamad bin
Khalifa praised the "bravery of the resistance" when it
was necessary in 2006 and the "wisdom" of the Lebanese
parties in working through the political process. (Open
Source Center, al-Jazeera)



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


INTERNATIONAL REACTION POSITIVE


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





7. (U) Jordanian King Abdullah, Moroccan King Mohammed,
UNSYG Ban, UK Foreign Secretary Miliband, and German
President Koehler issued statements of support.
(aljazeera.net, un.org)



8. (U) French President Sarkozy congratulated Sleiman
and noted he hoped to visit Lebanon very soon.
(nowlebanon.com)



9. (U) Minimize considered.
RICE