Wikileaks [8]: "Siniora advises the US ‘not to give any rewards to Syria’, and asks the US to ‘exploit’ cracks in Iran… "

>

Source Here

C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIRUT 000818

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ELA
ALSO FOR IO A/S BRIMMER
P FOR DRUSSELL, RRANGASWAMY
DRL/NESA FOR WHITMAN, BARGHOUT
PARIS FOR JMILLER
USUN FOR WOLFF/GERMAIN/SCHEDLBAUER
NSC FOR SHAPIRO, MCDERMOTT
DOD/OSD FOR FLOURNOY/KAHL/DALTON
OVP FOR HMUSTAFA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR PTER MASS MARR MOPPS LE SY IR
PK, AF

SUBJECT: LEBANON: PM SINIORA TO PETRAEUS: PUSH SYRIA TO GET BACK IN ARAB FOLD

Classified By: Ambassador Michele J. Sison

for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

SUMMARY
——–

1. (C) Caretaker Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told visiting Commander General of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) General David Petraeus and the Ambassador June 30 that he was “quite satisfied” with the outcome of Lebanon’s June 7 parliamentary elections. Siniora said that the Lebanese had voted for the state and its institutions and confirmed that Lebanon could practice its democracy without outside interference — if given the opportunity. He also thanked the United States for sustained military assistance. General Petraeus congratulated Lebanon on the peaceful conduct of the elections and expressed hope that a cabinet would be formed soon. Siniora continued that Lebanon was encouraged by and supportive of President Obama’s efforts to reach a comprehensive Middle East Peace, but cautioned that Palestinian resettlement should not come at the expense of Lebanon. Siniora encouraged the U.S. to push Syria to respect the sovereignty of other states (namely Lebanon) as a way to bring Syria back into the Arab fold, rather than continuing to align itself with Iran.

General Petraeus hoped that the obvious cracks in the Iranian system (illustrated by the demonstrations that followed the Iranian elections) would distract Iran from malign ambitions in the region. He also briefed Siniora on U.S. military assistance in Pakistan and Afghanistan. End summary. 2. (SBU) Meeting General Petraeus at his downtown Beirut residence, Siniora was accompanied by his senior advisor Rola Noureddine. General Petraeus and the Ambassador were accompanied by Colonel Bjarne (Michael) Iverson, Executive Officer; Colonel Mike Bell, Director – Commander’s Initiatives Group; Sadi Othman, Cultural Advisor and Translator; Ali Khedery, Advisor; Lieutenant Colonel Dave Wilson, Lebanon Desk Officer, Embassy Defense Attache

Lieutenant Colonel James Lantz, Office of Defense Cooperation Chief Colonel Joshua Berisford and an Embassy notetaker.

LEBANON: A “MODEL” FOR THE REGION
—————–

3. (C) Caretaker Prime Minister Fouad Siniora welcomed the one-day visit of the Commanding General of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) General David Petraeus to Beirut on June 30. Siniora expressed his thanks for sustained U.S. military assistance to Lebanon and asserted that U.S. security assistance had contributed to the positive outcome of the June 7 Lebanese parliamentary elections. Siniora said he was “quite satisfied” that the majority March 14 coalition had shown that its majority was decisive and not “fictitious,” as it had been described by others after the previous elections in 2005. He described the electoral outcome as vote for the state and its institutions. Siniora said that although Lebanon was not the most important country in the world and despite minor irregularities in the conduct of the elections, Lebanon had shown that it could be a model of diversity and democracy — without outside interference — in the region. 4. (C) General Petraeus congratulated Siniora on winning his own electoral campaign and the Lebanese people for conducting peaceful elections. In addition, he expressed hope that the new cabinet would be formed soon. Siniora predicted the government formation would likely “take some time” because of debate about “blocking third” veto power for the opposition.

MIDDLE EAST PEACE: NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF LEBANON

——————

5. (C) Siniora said that Lebanon was encouraged by and supportive of President Obama’s commitment to achieving a comprehensive Middle East Peace. He said the U.S.
administration’s recognition of the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was an opportunity to push the Arab Peace Initiative forward and to finally achieve a resolution. The Israelis, however, were being uncooperative, he accused. In his June 14 speech, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had said “yes” to a two-state solution with but added “a thousand no’s,” Siniora analyzed. The ultimate fate of Palestinian refugees, could not come at the expense of Lebanon, Siniora cautioned. (Note: Lebanon has 12 Palestinian rfugee camps. The GOL maintains that the Palestinins should have the “right of return” and is agaist permanent resettlement (“tawteen”) in Lebanon. End note.)

SYRIA
—–

6. (C) Syria, Siniora said, has geopolitical significance.

……. Siniora commented on the signs of increased U.S. engagement with Syria, but he advised the United States to be careful not to give any rewards to Syria without Syria taking action first. Most importantly, the U.S. should not allow Syria — or other states in the region — to use Lebanon as a platform or battleground; engagement with Syria should not come at the expense of Lebanon, Siniora said. 7. (C) General Petraeus assured Siniora that the U.S. administration understood Lebanon’s concerns. He told Siniora that Syrian President Bashar Asad had invited him to visit several times, but the time was not yet appropriate. Syria, he added, continues to allow Al Qaeda-affiliated
facilitation networks to operate from its territory and allow the transit of suicide bombers into Iraq. General Petraeus added that the U.S. would like to see Syria return to the Arab world and develop closer ties to the western world, rather than continue to align itself with Iran.

IRAN
—-

8. (C) On Iran, General Petraeus said that the crisis following Iran’s June 12 presidential election had revealed significant cracks in the Iranian system. He said the announced outcome of the election and subsequent demonstrations showed that the “urban street” and the “young street” were not supportive of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Candidly, the U.S. would like these events to distract Iran for awhile from its other ambitions, such as pursuing its nuclear program, General Petraeus said.

Although, it was too early to determine whether the current crisis had any significant impact on Iran’s ability to support Hamas, Hizballah, or limit its ability to train and support foreign fighters in Iraq, he added. Siniora agreed that there were definite cracks in the Iranian system and the internal divisions should be exploited. However, Siniora warned against Israel taking any military action against Iran saying such action would only make the regional situation worse….

12. (U) CENTCOM Commander General Petraeus has cleared this message.

SISON


Posted by G, Z, or B at 5:48 PM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: