Syrian-Saudi Settlement Announced Dead, What Next?

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Lebonan
Thursday, 13 January 2011


Lebanon-flag_4The US did it. The Syrian-Saudi settlement has failed to end the current Lebanese impasse. Months of give-and-take were in vain as ominous US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a clear message to the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that any settlement on the expense of the UN tribunal is rejected and forbidden.Clinton stressed that the Special Tribunal for
Al Mustaqbal newspaper reported that Suleiman contacted Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjiyeh to inform him that he contacted Hariri and they both agreed to meet as soon as he returns from Washington to discuss the possibility of holding a cabinet meeting.

Health Minister Mohammed Jawad Khalife said the current government is finished if no decision to convene a Cabinet meeting was taken today. "The fate of the government will be determined in the next few hours based on the reaction of PM Saad Hariri on the Opposition's demand to set a date for an extraordinary Cabinet session," Khalife told al-Nour radio station. Khalife said the Opposition will meet at 4:00pm Wednesday to "determine the next steps." A senior March 8 source told The Daily Star Tuesday night that 11 ministers are set to quit, which would automatically lead to the resignation of the Cabinet.

The opposition held a meeting Tuesday evening at the residence of Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun in Rabiyeh where they said the settlement has reached a dead end due to U.S. pressures and the March 14 camp's compliance with these pressures.

According to As-Safir, King Abdullah called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday, and told him that the kingdom has made every effort possible to reach an end to the Lebanese crisis, and assured him that this will not affect the bilateral relationship between Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Syria's al-Watan daily on Wednesday cited Syrian sources following up on the Saudi-Syrian mediation, who said that Riyadh apologized for not being able to carry on with the efforts "due to Hariri's reluctance and his failure to respond to the terms of the initiative." The newspaper said the announcement was made during a phone call received by Damascus from New York.

Riyadh's withdrawal "automatically" means the withdrawal of Damascus since the initiative is joint, the sources said. "The ball is now in the court of the Lebanese themselves who from now on should coordinate amongst themselves to get out of this crisis," one Syrian source stressed.

">  Lebanon (STL) will continue to operate even if the Lebanese government stops funding it. “I have no indication that that is going to happen. And, of course, this is a United Nations tribunal. It will continue, because it has a purpose that it needs to fulfill,” she said in an interview with al-Arabiya TV.As Hariri was set Wednesday to meet with US President Barack Obama in Washington, the Lebanese opposition threatened to withdraw from the Government if a demand to convene a Cabinet meeting to take a decision on the international tribunal is not met.

Al Mustaqbal newspaper reported that Suleiman contacted Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjiyeh to inform him that he contacted Hariri and they both agreed to meet as soon as he returns from Washington to discuss the possibility of holding a cabinet meeting.

Health Minister Mohammed Jawad Khalife said the current government is finished if no decision to convene a Cabinet meeting was taken today. "The fate of the government will be determined in the next few hours based on the reaction of PM Saad Hariri on the Opposition's demand to set a date for an extraordinary Cabinet session," Khalife told al-Nour radio station. Khalife said the Opposition will meet at 4:00pm Wednesday to "determine the next steps." A senior March 8 source told The Daily Star Tuesday night that 11 ministers are set to quit, which would automatically lead to the resignation of the Cabinet.

The opposition held a meeting Tuesday evening at the residence of Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun in Rabiyeh where they said the settlement has reached a dead end due to U.S. pressures and the March 14 camp's compliance with these pressures.

According to As-Safir, King Abdullah called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday, and told him that the kingdom has made every effort possible to reach an end to the Lebanese crisis, and assured him that this will not affect the bilateral relationship between Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Syria's al-Watan daily on Wednesday cited Syrian sources following up on the Saudi-Syrian mediation, who said that Riyadh apologized for not being able to carry on with the efforts "due to Hariri's reluctance and his failure to respond to the terms of the initiative." The newspaper said the announcement was made during a phone call received by Damascus from New York.

Riyadh's withdrawal "automatically" means the withdrawal of Damascus since the initiative is joint, the sources said. "The ball is now in the court of the Lebanese themselves who from now on should coordinate amongst themselves to get out of this crisis," one Syrian source stressed.

Rating: 5 Read 692 times Last modified on Thursday, 13 January 2011

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