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Cable sobre los misiles de Hezbolá procedentes de Siria

Washington presiona para evitar una entrega de cohetes balísticos al partido-milicia libanés

ID: 250891
Date: 2010-02-26 00:36:00
Origin: 10STATE17894
Source: Secretary of State
Classification: SECRET
Dunno: 09STATE129636
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0000
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RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA IMMEDIATE 0000
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RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 0000
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0000
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0000
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0000
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUETIAA/DIRNSA FT GEORGE G MEADE MD PRIORITY
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

S E C R E T STATE 017894

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2020
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, MASS, IS, LE, SY
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: CONTINUED CONCERN OVER SYRIAN SUPPORT
TO HIZBALLAH

REF: A) 2009 STATE 129636

Classified By: NEA A/S Jeffrey D. Feltman for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph four.

Summary
-------

2. (S) We previously demarched Britain, France, and Turkey
on our increasing concerns over Syria's continued provision
of advanced weapons to Hizballah (Ref A). In London, Paris
and Ankara the demarches were taken seriously and all
governments pledged to raise their concern with Syrian
officials. French diplomats noted that they routinely
deliver the same message to the Syrians, but that Damascus
denies involvement. This issue now needs to be reinforced
with these governments and brought to the attention of Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar. Under Secretary Burns visited
Damascus on February 17 and stressed U.S. concerns about
weapons transfers to Hizballah directly with Syrian President
Bashar Asad, who bluntly stated that he knew of no new
weapons systems going to Hizballah. In light of disturbing
and weighty evidence to the contrary -- that Syria currently
provides Hizballah with advanced ballistic missiles and other
weaponry -- we want France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan, and Qatar to make a renewed push to echo our concerns
with Syria, given that Syria continues to ignore warnings
that its transfers of advanced surface-to-surface and
surface-to-air weapons to Hizballah could jeopardize
prospects for an agreement with Israel or spark a conflict
significantly more destructive than the 2006 Israel-Hizballah
war. Syria's actions clearly jeopardize regional stability
and could risk drawing Damascus into any future war between
Israel and Hizballah.

3. (S) The Syrian leadership views military support to
Hizballah as integral to Syria's security and as a bargaining
chip in its negotiations with Israel over the return of the
Golan Heights, as well as a possible stick to bring the
Israelis back to the table. While our commitment to
principled engagement with Syria -- as demonstrated by Under
Secretary Burns' recent visit -- remains strong, we must
enlist additional French, British, Turkish, Saudi, Jordanian,
and Qatari support to help dissuade Syria from expanding its
ties to Hizballah any further, especially via the transfer of
additional sophisticated weaponry.

Objectives
----------

4. (S/REL FRANCE, BRITAIN, TURKEY, SAUDI ARABIA, JORDAN, AND
QATAR) Drawing on paragraphs 2 and 3 for context, we request
that Embassies in Paris, London, Ankara, Riyadh, Amman, and
Doha pursue the following objectives with senior French,
British, Turkish, Saudi, Jordanian, and Qatari officials at
the highest appropriate levels.

-- Highlight that Under Secretary Burns visited Damascus on
February 17 as part of our ongoing engagement with Syria.
Reiterate our commitment to sustained, principled engagement
with Syria. We plan to continue our dialogue with Syria and
look forward to the arrival of our new ambassador in Damascus
once the confirmation process is complete.

-- Stress that in addition to discussing bilateral issues of
mutual interest, Under Secretary Burns conveyed to President
Asad a number of our priority concerns with Syria,
specifically cross-border weapons smuggling into Lebanon
destined for Hizballah.

-- Note that in response, Asad claimed that Syria could not
be Israel's policeman and that he knew of no new weapons
systems being smuggled from Syria to Hizballah.

-- Underscore that, contrary to President Asad's statements,
we are aware of current Syrian efforts to supply ballistic
missiles to Hizballah.

-- We also note President Asad's recent comments -- during a
February 25 joint press conference with his Iranian
counterpart -- that support for Hizballah was a "moral and
legal duty."

-- Express deep concern that Syria's expanding military ties
to Hizballah, including the supply of ballistic missiles to
Hizballah, jeopardize regional prospects for peace and
stability. Specifically, Syrian transfers of increasingly
sophisticated weaponry risk renewed conflict between Israel
and Hizballah that may expand, unlike in 2006, into Syria.

-- Convey that arms shipments to Hizballah -- especially
ballistic missiles -- increasingly undermine Israel's
confidence in Syria's willingness and ability to deliver
peace and diminish the value of an eventual Syrian-Israeli
accord, as Hizballah will not return the weapons it has
already received.

-- Underscore that the next report on Security Council
resolution 1701 will be discussed on March 12. Full
implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, including
the arms embargo and weapons-free zone, remains a priority
for the United States. In light of the upcoming report, it
is especially important to stress that Syria's actions
constitute serious violations of Security Council resolution
1701 -- which will be taken seriously by the international
community -- and belie its claims to respect Lebanon's
sovereignty.

-- Express our appreciation for your host government's
support on the critical issue of Syrian weapons transfers to
Hizballah and note that we hope to continue our cooperation
to prevent serious miscalculations by the Syrian government.

-- Share the following S/REL FRANCE, BRITAIN, TURKEY, SAUDI
ARABIA, JORDAN, QATAR text verbatim:

(Begin releasable text.)

We would like to convey to you that we have information
indicating that Syria is providing increasingly sophisticated
weapons to Hizballah, including from its own military stocks.

For example, we assess that Syria has provided or will
provided guided short range ballistic missiles to Hizballah
that could target two-thirds of Israel, including Tel Aviv,
from launch sites north of the Litani.

Our information also indicates that Syria has made advanced
surface to air missile systems available to Hizballah and has
probably provided training on these systems to Hizballah
personnel.

(End releasable text.)

-- Urge France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and
Qatar to raise these concerns once again in their dialogue
with senior Syrian officials. We do not want to undermine
our collective outreach to Syria. However, we are
increasingly concerned that the Syrian government is making a
strategic miscalculation by incorrectly assuming that
increasing Hizballah's military capability concomitantly
bolsters Syria's security and strength at the negotiating
table with Israel, when the opposite is more likely to be
true.

-- Syria's desire for a deterrent against Israeli military
action -- presumably a motivation for the transfer of
ballistic missiles to Hizballah -- is not producing a stable
deterrent because there are no mechanisms to prevent
unanticipated escalation. Not having control over
Hizballah's missiles increases the risk of this danger.

-- Emphasize that Syria's actions risk derailing our common
efforts to bring peace to the region.

-- Note that we are raising our concerns with Syrian
officials in Damascus and with the Syrian Ambassador here in
Washington.

-- Also note our continuing strong commitment and support to
the full implementation of resolutions 1747 and 1701,
encouraging France, Britain, and Turkey to stress their
continuing support for the full implementation of resolution
1701 -- in its entirety (including the arms embargo and
weapons free zone) -- with senior Syrian officials.

-- These are U.S. concerns. We are not carrying somebody
else's "water" on this issue.

-- (For Turkey) Express that we greatly appreciate Turkey's
continued efforts to combat weapons smuggling. As conveyed
by Under Secretary Burns when he was in Ankara on February
18, we urge Turkey to use its close ties with Damascus to
underscore the repercussions that Syria's continued provision
of weapons to Hizballah has for regional stability and the
broader goal of Middle East peace. We hope that Turkey will
leverage its influence with Syria on this crucial issue.

Reporting Deadline
------------------

5. (SBU) Embassies are requested to report the results of
this demarche to Syria desk officer Andrew Abell and Lebanon
desk officer John Duchak by March 3, 2010.
CLINTON