06MOSCOW12986, RUSSIA/LEBANON: PM SINIORA’S VISIT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12986 2006-12-19 17:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0016
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMOA #2986 3531702
ZNY CCCCC ZZH ZUI RUEWMCF4683 3531649
O 191702Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0000
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 012986 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/19/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID IR LE RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA/LEBANON:  PM SINIORA'S VISIT 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES DANIEL A. RUSSELL.  REASONS:  1.4(B/D) 
. 
 
1.  (C) PRIME MINISTER SINIORA CAME AWAY SATISFIED WITH HIS 
DECEMBER 14-16 VISIT TO MOSCOW; THE ATMOSPHERICS WERE 
EXCELLENT ACCORDING TO LEBANESE AMBASSADOR ASSEM JABER'S 
READOUT TO THE CHARGE.  BESIDES PUTIN, SINIORA MET WITH 
SECURITY COUNCIL SECRETARY IGOR IVANOV, EX-FOREIGN MINISTER 
PRIMAKOV AND ORTHODOX AND MUSLIM RELIGIOUS LEADERS.  JABER 
SAID THAT PUTIN IMPRESSED SINIORA WITH HIS COMMAND OF MIDDLE 
EAST ISSUES. 
 
2.  (C) IN A LARGELY ONE-ON-ONE SESSION WITH SINIORA, PUTIN 
EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR LEBANONS INDEPENDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY AND 
TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY.  HE BACKED A LEBANESE SOLUTION TO THE 
CURRENT CRISIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LEBANON'S CONSTITUTION, AND 
HE REACTED FAVORABLY TO SINIORA'S 19 10 1 NATIONAL 
RECONCILIATION GOVERNMENT CONCEPT.  PUTIN DERIDED THE IDEA OF 
POLITICAL CHANGE THROUGH STREET DEMONSTRATIONS, A TACTIC HE 
LIKENED TO THE "COLORED" REVOLUTIONS IN THE FORMER SOVIET 
UNION.  PUTIN REITERATED RUSSIA'S SUPPORT FOR THE AGREEMENT 
BETWEEN THE UN AND THE GOVERNMENT OF LEBANON AND THE 
ACCOMPANYING STATUTE FOR THE SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON. 
HE PROMISED THAT RUSSIA WOULD ATTEND THE JANUARY 25 
RECONSTRUCTION CONFERENCE IN PARIS, BUT OFFERED NO SPECIFICS 
ON POTENTIAL RUSSIAN ASSISTANCE.  PUTIN DID VOLUNTEER THAT, 
AFTER THE CURRENT CRISIS IS RESOLVED, ASSISTANCE TO THE 
LEBANESE ARMED FORCES WOULD BE ONE OPTION FOR RUSSIA TO 
CONSIDER. 
 
3.  (C)  WITH IGOR IVANOV, SINIORAS DISCUSSIONS FOCUSED ON 
THE REGION AND THE PEACE PROCESS.  IVANOV REITERATED RUSSIAN 
SUPPORT FOR UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1701 AND THE 
SPECIAL TRIBUNAL, BUT CAUTIONED THAT THE LATTER SHOULD FOCUS 
ON THE HARIRI ASSASSINATION AND NOT BE USED FOR POLITICAL 
PURPOSES AGAINST THIRD COUNTRIES.  IVANOV URGED THAT THE 
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ENGAGE BOTH SYRIA AND IRAN. 
ISOLATION OF THOSE TWO STATES WOULD NOT CONTRIBUTE TO PEACE 
IN THE REGION.  IVANOV OPINED THAT SYRIA WAS THE EASIER WITH 
WHICH TO DEAL, SINCE IRAN'S FOREIGN POLICY WAS SO FOCUSED ON 
ITS NUCLEAR AMBITIONS.  IVANOV NOTED THAT IRAN WOULD BE 
SANCTIONED BY THE END OF THE MONTH AND HE WAS APPREHENSIVE 
ABOUT IRAN'S REACTION, WHICH HE HOPED WOULD BE PEACEFUL AND 
MEASURED. 
 
4.  (C) JABER CALLED PRIMAKOV'S APPROACH TO SINIORA AS 
PRO-SYRIAN AND IDEOLOGICAL (READ ANTI-US).  SINIORA GENTLY 
CHASTISED PRIMAKOV FOR PUBLICLY STATING THAT SYRIA HAD 
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HARIRI ASSASSINATION BEFORE AN 
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL HAD EVEN CONVENED.  HE ADVISED 
PRIMAKOV TO JUDGE SYRIA BY ITS ACTIONS AND NOT ITS WORDS. 
PRIMAKOV COUNTERED THAT HE HAD MET WITH HARIRI SHORTLY BEFORE 
HIS DEATH AND BEEN PUBLICLY SUPPORTIVE OF HIS GOVERNMENT. 
RUSSELL

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