ID : 72671
Date : 2006-07-26 14:00:00
Origin : 06RIYADH5952
Source : Embassy Riyadh
Classification : CONFIDENTIAL
DE RUEHRH #5952 2071400 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 261400Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0017
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 0881
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2271
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 4733
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 4256
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 7510
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 005952
DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI
E.O. 12958 : DECL : 07/26/2016
TAGS : PREL, PTER, SENV, LE, SA
SUBJECT : KING ABDULLAH AND PRESIDENT MUBARAK DISCUSS LEBANON ; KING ISSUES STERN STATEMENT
REF : RIYADH 5910
Classified By : Ambassador James C. Oberwetter for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) King Abdullah and Egyptian President Mubarak met July 25 to consult on the Lebanon crisis. Stating that Saudi Arabia and Egypt hold identical views on the situation in Lebanon, both leaders called for an immediate cease-fire, warning that continued Israeli aggression could engulf the entire region in war. President Mubarak said that Egypt and Saudi Arabia agreed that an international conference on Lebanon in Rome July 26 "should reach a clear resolution on reaching a cease-fire and saving the Lebanese people."
2. (C) Following the meeting, King Abdullah issued a royal statement on state-owned television (reftel) warning that continued Israeli aggression could produce "dangerous results." King Abdullah emphasized that until now, Arab nations have chosen peace as a strategic option, and have "refused to respond to provocation and the extremist calls that wage war on peace." He cautioned that "patience cannot go on forever and that if the Israeli military savagery continues to kill and destroy, no one can predict what would happen and if the forbidden takes place, regret would be useless."
3. (C) The King also emphasized his government’s efforts to find a solution, citing diplomacy efforts by Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and National Security Advisor Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who traveled to Washington, London and Moscow to convey messages from King Abdullah.
4. (C) COMMENT : The King’s statement is unusually forthright. It is of note that the Saudi government (SAG) has not backed away from its initial statement blaming Hizballah and, by extension, Iran for starting the violence in Lebanon. That said, in making this tough new statement, the King and the SAG now seem to be taking closer note of the popular mood, which is increasingly negative. Recent contacts with average Saudis in Riyadh indicate increasing hostility and anger toward Israel over its perceived "aggression" in Lebanon and Gaza. The biased coverage of these events by local satellite television channels is only increasing such sentiments. Our contacts also report increased feelings of anger and "hatred" for Westerners in general and Americans in particular. A source close to the Royal Court has speculated to us that the King may be worried about the possibility of demonstrations, especially in the Eastern Province, should he not be seen to take decisive action to aid Lebanon. Finally, the same source added that the King probably wanted to signal that Saudi Arabia, not Iran, would take the lead in assisting Lebanon in rebuilding once the current conflict subsides. END COMMENT.