Berri, leader of Amal for nearly 20 years, has denied the content of the
cable. In a statement on Sept. 5, Berri insisted that Amal and Hizbullah
"The Amal movement was and remains a fundamental ally of Hizbullah,"
Berri said. "We have demanded the U.S. State Department provide us with the
original cable through its embassy in Lebanon to determine whether WikiLeaks
or Feltman is the liar."
Feltman, today a senior State Department official, reported on his
meeting with Berri in July 2006 during the Israel-Hizbullah war.
Feltman's cable to Washington, released by WikiLeaks, quoted Berri as saying
that Israeli air strikes could harm Hizbullah.
"We are certain that Berri hates Hizbullah as much, or even more, than
the [Western-backed] March 14 politicians," the cable said. "After all,
Hizbullah's support is drawn from the Shi'ites who might otherwise be with
The U.S. cable quoted Berri as criticizing Hizbullah secretary-general
Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Amal leader said he felt
betrayed by Nasrallah, who promised to maintain stability in Lebanon.
"We can never sit down at the table with him [Nasrallah] again," the
cable said. "We think he lied to us."