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Monday, February 13, 2012

SYRIA: the running civil war : A dissident and former political prisoner, echoing suspicions about U.S. intentions, called the proposal "insulting." In his view, the U.S. was hypocritical about its support of democracy in the region and was looking for "tools" rather than partners

C O N F I D E N T I A L DAMASCUS 000760    SIPDIS    SIPDIS    PARIS FOR ZEYA; LONDON FOR TSOU    E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM SY
SUBJECT: MORE ON USG FUNDING OF SYRIAN OPPOSITION
REF: DAMASCUS 0701  
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Stephen A. Seche, per 1.4 b,d.    .
(C) Summary:  The USG's Syrian Democracy Announcement  continues to provoke conflicting views here among the  opposition and other political figures.  Reftel reported on  an initial sounding that produced primarily negative views.  A second look at the issue has prompted a more nuanced set of  reactions.  Some have welcomed the initiative, saying that it  sends the message that the U.S. supports the opposition and  will not make any "deal" with the Asad regime; however, they  still questioned whether the funding would reach sincere  regime opponents.  One contact desccribed the initial  negative reaction among the opposition as overblown, "but  typical."  Several contacts offered the outlines of funding  proposals or broader suggestions about ways in which the U.S.  could use modest funding to support civil society and  democratic development in Syria.  One prominent dissident and  former political prisoner, echoing lingering suspicions about  U.S. intentions, called the proposal "insulting."  In his  view, the U.S. was hypocritical about its support of  democracy in the region and was looking for "tools" rather  than partners.  There has been little or no public support  expressed for the funding.  End Summary.

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