Friday, 15 April 2011

Wikileaks: Hariri to Talwar: "A partnership between the 'Brotherhood & Khaddam' ... They support peace with Israel"


(Original cable/tomorrow)

On 24 August 2006 (06BEIRUT2735),  Saad Hariri, met senior staff member of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the U.S. Senate, Puneet Talwar, ... Through most of the meeting, Hariri  talked about regional affairs, especially in Syria. In his view, the Syrian and Iranian regimes are  major obstacles to peace in the region. He said that the U.S. government tried hard «to change the behavior of these regimes» but to no avail.... According to Hariri circumstances were  «propitious for the international community to weaken Bashar». Hariri believed that the U.S. Government «needed a new & clearer policy towards isolating Syria»,  and added that « if  you did not isolate & blockade Syria, they will not be changed... and by coercing Syria you eliminate the Iranian bridge to troublemaking in Lebanon & Palestine»..... " The Saudis and other Arabs, are fed up with young Bashar, and are no longer prone to use a conciliatory approach with the Syrian regime. After Bashar's last speech, in which he threatened civil war in Lebanon, they are no longer interested in talking to Damascus». Saad said that «he heard this directly from the Saudis, and Prince Bandar was actually conveying this message to Washington». 

Hariri was asked as to who can fill the vacuum in the event of regime change in Damascus, he replied by suggesting a «partnership between the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and some of the old regime personalities such as Abdul Halim Khaddam and Hikmat Shihabi («although the latter is still close to the regime») to fill the void». Hariri went on to vouch that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood movement in Syria «similar in its moderation to the Islamists in Turkey. who would could accept a Christian or a woman as president and that they support peace with Israel». Hariri said he maintains strong links with  Khaddam and the exiled Syrian Muslim Brotherhood's leader Ali al Bayanouni, pressing the Americans to talk «with Bayanouni & see for yourselves ... you will be pleasantly surprised»..."
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 10:22 PM
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