US embassy cable - 85RIYADH5400

SAUD IN TUNIS: SUPPORT FOR ARAFAT

Identifier: 85RIYADH5400
Wikileaks: View 85RIYADH5400 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Riyadh
Created: 1985-06-11 13:04:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL SA SY LE PLO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 111304Z JUN 85
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4280
AMEMBASSY AMMAN
AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMCONSUL DHAHRAN
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
AMCONSUL JEDDAH
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMEMBASSY TUNIS
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 05400 
 
LONDON FOR RAPHEL 
 
PARIS FOR WINN 
 
CENTCOM FOR POLAD LOWRIE 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, SA, SY, LE, PLO 
SUBJECT:  SAUD IN TUNIS:  SUPPORT FOR ARAFAT 
 
REF:  FBIS LD 82248 
 
 
1.  (U)  IN JUNE 10 "ASHARQ AL-AWSAT" INTERVIEW IN 
TUNIS, FON MIN SAUD AL-FAISAL TALKED ABOUT THE 
ARAB LEAGUE FOREIGN MINISTERS' MEETING ON LEBANON. 
REFERRING TO KING FAHD'S PREVIOUS EXPRESSION OF 
DISGUST AND DISMAY AT EVENTS AT THE PALESTINIAN 
CAMPS IN LEBANON, HE SAID HE HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED 
TO EXPRESS HOPE THAT ALL STATES WOULD WORK TO HALT 
BLOODSHED AND BRING ABOUT RECONCILIATION.  HE 
ASSERTED THAT MEETING HAD REACHED A RESOLUTION TO 
END THE BLOODSHED AND HOPED THE LEBANESE GOVERN- 
MENT WOULD COOPERATE IN IMPLEMENTING IT.  HE ADDED 
THAT ALL LEBANESE PARTIES HAD BEEN REQUESTED TO 
EXERT EVERY EFFORT TO BRING ABOUT AN IMMEDIATE 
CEASEFIRE. 
- 
2.  (U)  IN JUNE 10 EDITORIAL, "AL-RIYADH" 
IS IMPLICITLY CRITICAL OF THE MEETING BY NOTING 
THAT THE RESOLUTION PRODUCED WAS THE MINIMUM 
EXPECTED. IT IMPLIED DISAPPROVAL OF INEFFECTIVE 
CONCILIATORY RESOLUTIONS AND OF THE ARAB WORLD FOR 
NOT DOING MORE TO PREVENT THE PALESTINIANS FROM 
BECOMING VICTIMS.  "AL-NADWA," THE MOST VOCALLY 
PRO-PALESTINIAN OF THE SAUDI PAPERS, MENTIONED 
IN JUNE 8 EDITORIAL THAT SOME STATES WILL BOYCOTT 
THE MEETING HELD TO DISCUSS THE WAR OF THE CAMPS 
"WAGED BY THE AMAL MILITIAS."  IT ALSO CALLED FOR 
EFFECTIVE ACTION AND FOR THE COUNCIL TO STAND 
FIRMLY AGAINST THE ATTACKS.  JUNE 9 "AL-NADWA" 
EDITORIAL IS HIGHLY CRITICAL OF NABIH BERRI. 
- 
3.  (U)  KING FAHD HIMSELF SUBSEQUENTLY ISSUED 
ANOTHER STATEMENT ON THE PALESTINIAN SITUATION 
IN LEBANON.  JUNE 11 PRESS REPORTS THAT AT CON- 
CLUSION OF EVENING CABINET MEETING JUNE 10, AT 
WHICH SAUD REPORTED ON THE RESULTS OF THE TUNIS 
MEETING, MIN INFO ALI SHAIR READ A STATEMENT IN 
WHICH THE KING AFFIRMED SAUDI ARABIA'S CONCERN FOR 
THE SAFETY OF THE PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN THE 
LEBANON CAMPS.  FURTHER, SAUDI ARABIA WOULD 
ATTEND ANY ARAB MEETING WHICH WOULD SERVE THE 
PALESTINIAN CAUSE AND FIND SOLUTIONS TO STOP THE 
KILLING IN LEBANON. 
- 
4.  (C)  COMMENT:  SAUD'S REMARKS PUT THE SAUDIS' 
CALL TO END THE BLOODSHED ONCE MORE ON RECORD. 
MORE IMPORTANTLY, SAUD'S PRESENCE AT THE MEETING 
AND SAUDI SUPPORT FOR THE RESOLUTION SHOW SAUDI 
ARABIA ONCE MORE SUPPORTING THE LEADERSHIP ROLE 
OF ARAFAT DESPITE SYRIAN OPPOSITION.  (WE NOTE 
FROM REFTEL SAUD CONFERRED WITH ARAFAT IN TUNIS.) 
ALTHOUGH NO EDITORIALS MENTIONED SYRIA BY NAME, 
ONLY THE AMAL AND BERRI, UNHAPPINESS WITH SYRIA 
IS PROBABLY NOT FAR BELOW THE SURFACE.  INDEED, 
WE HAVE HEARD THAT ASAD HAS BEEN ROUNDLY 
CRITICIZED BY PALESTINIANS AND SAUDIS ON THE 
LOCAL MAJLIS CIRCUIT FOR NOT RESTRAINING THE 
SHI'ITE ATTACKS AGAINST THE PALESTINIAN CAMPS. 
END COMMENT. 
 
5.  BEIRUT MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
 
SUDDARTH 

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