US embassy cable - 85BEIRUT1676

CHRISTIAN DECISION MOVEMENT RESPONDS TO CONTINUING SYRIA PRESSURE

Identifier: 85BEIRUT1676
Wikileaks: View 85BEIRUT1676 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beirut
Created: 1985-03-18 14:30:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PREL LE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 181430Z MAR 85
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2246
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIRUT 01676 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PGOV, PREL, LE 
SUBJECT:  CHRISTIAN DECISION MOVEMENT RESPONDS TO 
CONTINUING SYRIA PRESSURE 
 
REF:  FBIS NICOSIA 17 MARCH 85 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  THE FOCUS OF SYRIAN PRESSURE ON DISSIDENT 
CHRISTIANS HAS SHIFTED TO THE POLITICAL ARENA 
AND THE USE OF LEBANESE MUSLIM LEADERS.  SYRIAN 
VICE PRESIDENT KHADDAM HAS CANCELLED HIS 
MARCH 18 VISIT TO BEIRUT. THE WEEKLY WEDNESDAY 
MEETING OF THE LEBANESE CABINET HAS ALSO BEEN 
POSTPONED BECAUSE MINISTERS JUMBLATT AND BARRI 
WOULD NOT ATTEND.  JUMBLATT IS IN MOSCOW, 
WHILE BARRI CLAIMS THAT THE ROAD TO BAABDA IS 
UNSAFE.  THE IMPLICATION IS THAT THE ROAD 
WILL NOT BE SAFE UNTIL THE CHRISTIAN DISSIDENTS 
ARE BROUGHT INTO LINE.  IN A SPEECH IN MUKHTARA 
SUNDAY TO COMMEMORATE THE EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY 
OF THE ASSASSINATION OF KAMEL JUMBLATT, WALID 
JUMBLATT URGED HIS SUPPORTERS TO REASON FOR 
A POSSIBLE NEW ROUND OF FIGHTING.  HE THREATENED 
TO "BREAK THE NECKS" OF THE CHRISTIAN REBELS. 
AT A PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR LATE 
TODAY (3/18), BARRI IS EXPECTED TO STEP UP THE 
POLITICAL PRESSURE AGAINST JA'JA"S CHRISTIAN 
DECISION MOVEMENT (CDM). 
 
3.  IN THE FACE OF THIS CONTINUING PRESSURE, 
RECONCILIATION EFFORTS CONTINUE WITHIN THE 
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.  A TRIPARTITE COMMITTEE 
COMPOSED OF MINISTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH  JOSEPH 
AL-HASLEM, FORMER MINISTER AND PHALANGE POLITICAL 
ALLY MICHEL AL-MURR, AND CDM EMERGENCY COMMITTEE 
MEMBER KARIM PAKRADOUNI HAS BEEN MEETING TO 
DRAFT A POLITICAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FACTIONS. 
L'ORIENT-LE JOUR REPORTS THAT THIS COMMITTEE 
HAS SUCCEEDED IN HAMMERING OUT THE OUTLINES OF 
AN AGREEMENT BASED ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS: 
 
-  KEEPING CURRENT LEADERS IN PLACE 
 
-  RESTRUCTURING THE PHALANGE PARTY 
 
-  CLARIFYING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE PHALANGE AND THE LF 
 
-  MAINTAINING THE AUTONOMY OF THE LF 
 
-  PUSHING FOR THE RAPID CREATION OF A CHRISTIAN 
NATIONAL COUNCIL 
 
DETAILS OF THE AGREEMENT HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED 
PENDING THE MARCH 18 MEETING OF THE PHALANGE 
PARTY POLITICAL BUREAU. 
 
4.  IN A MARCH 17 PRESS CONFERENCE HELD IN 
JOUNIEH, PAKRADOUNI TRIED TO PRESENT THE CDM 
IN A MANNER WHICH WOULD ALLAY SYRIAN CONCERNS. 
REFTEL PROVIDES THE TEXT OF THE CONFERENCE. 
FOLLOWING ARE THE MAJOR POINTS: 
 
A.  CDM'S MAJOR PRINCIPLES ARE 1)  SUPPORT FOR 
THE UNITY OF LEBANON AND ITS FULL LIBERATION; 2) 
SUPPORT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW FORMULA 
FOR MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS;  AND 3) ACTION 
TO GUARANTEE THE SECURITY OF THE CHRISTIAN 
COMMUNITY. 
 
B.  CDM'S "UPPERMOST OBJECTIVE" IS THE SPEEDY 
ELECTION OF A NATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL TO 
SERVE AS A CHRISTIAN PARLIAMENT. 
 
C.  CDM HAS RECEIVED NO AID FROM ISRAEL.  HOWEVER, 
PAKRADOUNI QUALIFIED THIS DENIAL BY ADDING, 
"THE COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP HAS NOT YET DECIDED 
ITS POLICY TOWARD ISRAEL." 
 
D.  CDM DOES NOT INTEND TO HARM THE PRESIDENT OR 
THE PRESIDENCY.  HE STATED, "WE WANT THE 
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC TO REMAIN ABOVE PARTY 
AND SECTARIAN DISPUTES.  WE WANT HIM TO BE THE 
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC-OF ALL LEBANON- AND 
WE DO NOT WANT HIM TO BE MERELY THE PRESIDENT OF 
THE CHRISTIANS OR OF MILITIAS." 
 
E.  CDM IS A "COUP" WITHIN THE LF AND THE PHALANGE 
PARTY AIMED AT MAKING THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY 
MORE DEMOCRATIC. 
 
F.  CDM SEEKS DIRECT MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN NEGOTIATIONS, 
ESPECIALLY WITH MINISTERS BARRI AND JUMBLATT, 
AIMING TOWARD A "PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE CHARTER." 
 
G.  CONTACTS WITH THE SYRIANS WILL CONTINUE. 
PAKRADOUNI WILL MAKE A THIRD CALL TO SYRIAN VP 
KHADDAM.  FURTHER, HE STATED THAT HIS "COMMUNICATIONS 
WITH SYRIAN OFFICIALS PERMIT ME TO SAY THAT THERE 
WILL BE NO SYRIAN INCURSION INTO OUR AREAS." 
 
H.  CDM OPPOSES THE REMOVAL OF THE BARBARA 
CHECKPOINT. 
 
5.  COMMENT:  IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT 
THE CDM ORIGINALLY CRITICIZED PRESIDENT GEMAYEL 
FOR DEALING WITH THE SYRIANS AND FOR MAKING 
CONCESSIONS AS PRESIDENT THAT HE WOULD NOT HAVE 
MADE AS A STRICTLY CHRISTIAN LEADER.  NOW, 
FACED WITH THE POLITICAL REALITIES OF 
THEIR SITUATION, THE CDM LEADERSHIP IS BOTH 
DEALING DIRECTLY WITH THE SYRIANS AND ENCOURAGING 
PRESIDENT GEMAYEL TO REMAIN ABOVE THE SECTARIAN 
FRAY.  END COMMENT. 
 
6.  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION HAS ALSO SURFACED 
CONCERNING THE STATUS OF TITULAR LF COMMANDER 
FUAD ABU NADER.  IN HIS PRESS CONFERENCE, 
PAKRADOUNI ASSERTED THAT, "FUAD ABU NADER IS 
STILL THE COMMANDER OF THE LEBANESE FORCES. 
HE HAS SUPPORTED IN AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT THE 
POLICY OF THE UPRISING WITHIN THE LEBANESE 
FORCES.  A TEMPORARY COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP 
CALLED THE 'EMERGENCY COMMITTEE' HAS BEEN 
FORMED.  WE WILL SOON ANNOUNCE A NEW LEADERSHIP 
FOR THIS COMMITTEE."  ABU NADER IS THUS STILL 
FUNCTIONING AS A LEADER OF THE LF, THOUGH THE 
DEGREE OF HIS PRESENT INFLUENCE AND HIS FUTURE 
PROSPECTS REMAIN UNCLEAR. 
 
 
BARTHOLOMEW 

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