Saudi Arabia quits mediation, calls Lebanon situation dangerous

Saudi Arabia has abandoned efforts to mediate in Lebanon’s political crisis after Hezbollah quit the government last week.

Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV in an interview on Wednesday that the Saudi king is “withdrawing his hand” from Lebanon.

Lebanon is enduring a political crisis stemming from a UN court investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri, former Lebanese prime minister.

Asked about the situation in Lebanon, al-Faisal said that “It’s dangerous, particularly if it reaches separatism or the division of Lebanon. This would mean the end of Lebanon as a model of peaceful coexistence between religions and ethnicities and different factions.”

The foreign minister said that Saudi’s King Abdullah and Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, had been in contact to help “end the whole Lebanon problem.”

“When that did not happen, the custodian of the holy mosques [King Abdullah] said he was pulling his hand out” from the effort, Prince Saud was quoted as saying.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reported from Beirut that “it is being described as a dangerous development. Saudi Arabia is a major political power here, and it holds political sway.

“While Saudi Arabia may have decided to pull out, Qatar and Turkey are pushing forward, meeting leaders in Lebanon and Syria, which is a major supporter of the opposition,” our correspondent said.

“There are fears that political tensions could spill over to streets.”

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister, and Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, met with Saad Hariri, the son of the slain leader, who is staying on as a caretaker prime minister.

The officials also met with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader.

According to Lebanon’s power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni and the parliament speaker a Shia.

Each faith makes up about a third of Lebanon’s population of four million.

Hariri, a Sunni, is backed by Western powers, including the United States, while Hezbollah is supported by Iran and by neighbouring Syria.

In May 2008, armed supporters of Hezbollah took over parts of Beirut after government shut down its private telecommunications network and stepped up its control at the airport.

Dozens of people were killed in fighting across the country.

aljazeera

  • Constantin7

    This does not sound good when Saudi Arabia drops the Lebanese case, it means the Syrians are getting the upper hand. Poor Saad, he must feel very fragile now.

    • libnan1

      DONE is a better description, very sad he sounds like a nice guy. He should fire his advisors. I hope this will make him a stronger and better person.

  • Anonymous

    This does not sound good when Saudi Arabia drops the Lebanese case, it means the Syrians are getting the upper hand. Poor Saad, he must feel very fragile now.

    • Anonymous

      DONE is a better description, very sad he sounds like a nice guy. He should fire his advisors. I hope this will make him a stronger and better person.

  • PROPHET.T

    It is becoming clear that Saudis are split over the Lebanese issue.
    King Abdulla is on his way to morocco to spend the rest of his life.He is a king by name only.
    The king has lost his authority,and the new king,and his team ,are setting their new policy. Mini-Hariri is eying the arriving king,and ignoring the departing one. Bandar is back on the stage,it seems.

    • guss043

      doesn’t make sense what you said, split over Lebanon issue or matter of transferring power inside the Kingdom

  • PROPHET.T

    It is becoming clear that Saudis are split over the Lebanese issue.
    King Abdulla is on his way to morocco to spend the rest of his life.He is a king by name only.
    The king has lost his authority,and the new king,and his team ,are setting their new policy. Mini-Hariri is eying the arriving king,and ignoring the departing one. Bandar is back on the stage,it seems.

    • guss043

      doesn’t make sense what you said, split over Lebanon issue or matter of transferring power inside the Kingdom

  • PROPHET.T

    It is becoming clear that Saudis are split over the Lebanese issue.
    King Abdulla is on his way to morocco to spend the rest of his life.He is a king by name only.
    The king has lost his authority,and the new king,and his team ,are setting their new policy. Mini-Hariri is eying the arriving king,and ignoring the departing one. Bandar is back on the stage,it seems.

    • guss043

      doesn’t make sense what you said, split over Lebanon issue or matter of transferring power inside the Kingdom

    • guss043

      doesn’t make sense what you said, split over Lebanon issue or matter of transferring power inside the Kingdom

  • nabilabuzaid

    The Saudis are tired of the Syrian Regime and Hezbollah lies and deceits. They’re were not honest and Saudis been laughed at and that’s why they’re upset with the whole thing. There were a time when Syria was going to be siding with them and also somehow tip the balance in Hariri’s favor when the Syrian’s apparently found out they will not be implicated in the Hariri assasinations. But Iranians outmaneuvered the Saudis with Syria and with pouring in more money and arms the Syrians could not resist. Saudis wanted the STL and Iran and Hezbollah obviously don’t and having STL succeed in issuing its indictment, the latter will be accused of the crimes committed. The Syrians plays with the hands that feeds them more. they have no freinds whatsover.

    • PROPHET.T

      nabil,
      The Saudis are not upset at all. The whole SS negotiations were meant to buy time.The Mini-Hariri dialogue with Syria was nothing but a ploy to buy time. The Syrians were fooled, so were the opposition.
      There was no intention to find a solution by the Saudis because they knew from the beginning that the US opposes any deal on the STL before the indictment is out.
      You should also note that the king is no longer calling the shots. The king called the Syrian president and apologized that Mini –Hariri didn’t agree, which means that Mini- Hariri knows that the king has lost his authority. Wait for the new Saudi team to emerge soon.
      Once the indictment is published, and the damage is done, then and only then, the US would be willing to make a deal that includes Iraq, HA, Afghanistan, Hamas, and Iran’s nuclear programs.
      I just hope it does not cost Lebanon a lot before Mini-Hariri recognizes that the US Will be using him, and the STL indictment for its own interests.
      States have interests, and no personal commitments. With all the tensions going on, the US decided to send a new ambassador to Syria. Doesn’t this timing raise your eyebrows? Well, He will be the negotiator behind the seen. Too bad Lebanese will be paying the price, and Mini –Hariri will be taking a course in international politics at his own expense, and the expense of Lebanese.

      • libnan1

        If he doesn’t straighten up he might become Micro-Hariri …..

      • nabilabuzaid

        Prophet so how come i read in other articles that King Faisal is upset with Syria then? The Syrian fabricated the story about king Faisal apologizing to Syrian Assad. As a matter of fact i read the King called the French President and expressed his outrage over Syria. so how could it be that King faisal called to apologize? just like hezbollah saying the Saudis do not want the STL. yet i read that the Saudi are supporting it financially too. I do understand that the US and Iran trying to resolve the issue of Nuclear weapons and both sides are using Lebanon. You and I were not there and if you just going to believe the Syrians side only, then you’re very naive. They way Hezbollah was behaving Tuesday in the streets of Beirut with no provocations form the other sides, that’s proof they never wanted to reach any settlements.

      • nabilabuzaid

        Prophet here is more on the Saudis being frustrated by Syria and the opposition. this is a portion of an article i just read regarding the Qatari/syrian and turkish trying to help resolve the crisis.
        The summit was billed as an effort to reignite – and to find a formula to implement – the supposed Saudi-Syrian understanding. The way Hezbollah’s media marketed the Turkish and Qatari involvement was to bill it as providing “regional witnesses that Saad Hariri agreed to abandon the tribunal.”

        Against this background, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faysal came out with a definite statement declaring that King Abdullah had ended all mediation efforts with the Syrians over Lebanon. The message was clear: Anything the Syrians and their friends were trying to sell under the rubric of the “Saudi-Syrian initiative” had nothing to do with the Saudis and did not enjoy their approval.

        The Saudis realized that they were being used by the Syrians – and without getting anything in return at that. With this declaration, the Saudis lifted their cover they had so unwisely offered Damascus.

        To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=232195#ixzz1BbSGS2Dg
        Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon: http://www.nowlebanon.com/Sub.aspx?ID=125478

  • nabilabuzaid

    The Saudis are tired of the Syrian Regime and Hezbollah lies and deceits. They’re were not honest and Saudis been laughed at and that’s why they’re upset with the whole thing. There were a time when Syria was going to be siding with them and also somehow tip the balance in Hariri’s favor when the Syrian’s apparently found out they will not be implicated in the Hariri assasinations. But Iranians outmaneuvered the Saudis with Syria and with pouring in more money and arms the Syrians could not resist. Saudis wanted the STL and Iran and Hezbollah obviously don’t and having STL succeed in issuing its indictment, the latter will be accused of the crimes committed. The Syrians plays with the hands that feeds them more. they have no freinds whatsover.

    • PROPHET.T

      nabil,
      The Saudis are not upset at all. The whole SS negotiations were meant to buy time.The Mini-Hariri dialogue with Syria was nothing but a ploy to buy time. The Syrians were fooled, so were the opposition.
      There was no intention to find a solution by the Saudis because they knew from the beginning that the US opposes any deal on the STL before the indictment is out.
      You should also note that the king is no longer calling the shots. The king called the Syrian president and apologized that Mini –Hariri didn’t agree, which means that Mini- Hariri knows that the king has lost his authority. Wait for the new Saudi team to emerge soon.
      Once the indictment is published, and the damage is done, then and only then, the US would be willing to make a deal that includes Iraq, HA, Afghanistan, Hamas, and Iran’s nuclear programs.
      I just hope it does not cost Lebanon a lot before Mini-Hariri recognizes that the US Will be using him, and the STL indictment for its own interests.
      States have interests, and no personal commitments. With all the tensions going on, the US decided to send a new ambassador to Syria. Doesn’t this timing raise your eyebrows? Well, He will be the negotiator behind the seen. Too bad Lebanese will be paying the price, and Mini –Hariri will be taking a course in international politics at his own expense, and the expense of Lebanese.

      • libnan1

        If he doesn’t straighten up he might become Micro-Hariri …..

  • Anonymous

    The Saudis are tired of the Syrian Regime and Hezbollah lies and deceits. They’re were not honest and Saudis been laughed at and that’s why they’re upset with the whole thing. There were a time when Syria was going to be siding with them and also somehow tip the balance in Hariri’s favor when the Syrian’s apparently found out they will not be implicated in the Hariri assasinations. But Iranians outmaneuvered the Saudis with Syria and with pouring in more money and arms the Syrians could not resist. Saudis wanted the STL and Iran and Hezbollah obviously don’t and having STL succeed in issuing its indictment, the latter will be accused of the crimes committed. The Syrians plays with the hands that feeds them more. they have no freinds whatsover.

    • PROPHET.T

      nabil,
      The Saudis are not upset at all. The whole SS negotiations were meant to buy time.The Mini-Hariri dialogue with Syria was nothing but a ploy to buy time. The Syrians were fooled, so were the opposition.
      There was no intention to find a solution by the Saudis because they knew from the beginning that the US opposes any deal on the STL before the indictment is out.
      You should also note that the king is no longer calling the shots. The king called the Syrian president and apologized that Mini –Hariri didn’t agree, which means that Mini- Hariri knows that the king has lost his authority. Wait for the new Saudi team to emerge soon.
      Once the indictment is published, and the damage is done, then and only then, the US would be willing to make a deal that includes Iraq, HA, Afghanistan, Hamas, and Iran’s nuclear programs.
      I just hope it does not cost Lebanon a lot before Mini-Hariri recognizes that the US Will be using him, and the STL indictment for its own interests.
      States have interests, and no personal commitments. With all the tensions going on, the US decided to send a new ambassador to Syria. Doesn’t this timing raise your eyebrows? Well, He will be the negotiator behind the seen. Too bad Lebanese will be paying the price, and Mini –Hariri will be taking a course in international politics at his own expense, and the expense of Lebanese.

      • Anonymous

        If he doesn’t straighten up he might become Micro-Hariri …..

      • Anonymous

        Prophet so how come i read in other articles that King Faisal is upset with Syria then? The Syrian fabricated the story about king Faisal apologizing to Syrian Assad. As a matter of fact i read the King called the French President and expressed his outrage over Syria. so how could it be that King faisal called to apologize? just like hezbollah saying the Saudis do not want the STL. yet i read that the Saudi are supporting it financially too. I do understand that the US and Iran trying to resolve the issue of Nuclear weapons and both sides are using Lebanon. You and I were not there and if you just going to believe the Syrians side only, then you’re very naive. They way Hezbollah was behaving Tuesday in the streets of Beirut with no provocations form the other sides, that’s proof they never wanted to reach any settlements.

      • Anonymous

        Prophet so how come i read in other articles that King Faisal is upset with Syria then? The Syrian fabricated the story about king Faisal apologizing to Syrian Assad. As a matter of fact i read the King called the French President and expressed his outrage over Syria. so how could it be that King faisal called to apologize? just like hezbollah saying the Saudis do not want the STL. yet i read that the Saudi are supporting it financially too. I do understand that the US and Iran trying to resolve the issue of Nuclear weapons and both sides are using Lebanon. You and I were not there and if you just going to believe the Syrians side only, then you’re very naive. They way Hezbollah was behaving Tuesday in the streets of Beirut with no provocations form the other sides, that’s proof they never wanted to reach any settlements.

  • Anonymous

    The Saudis are tired of the Syrian Regime and Hezbollah lies and deceits. They’re were not honest and Saudis been laughed at and that’s why they’re upset with the whole thing. There were a time when Syria was going to be siding with them and also somehow tip the balance in Hariri’s favor when the Syrian’s apparently found out they will not be implicated in the Hariri assasinations. But Iranians outmaneuvered the Saudis with Syria and with pouring in more money and arms the Syrians could not resist. Saudis wanted the STL and Iran and Hezbollah obviously don’t and having STL succeed in issuing its indictment, the latter will be accused of the crimes committed. The Syrians plays with the hands that feeds them more. they have no freinds whatsover.

  • JadM

    LOL the SS takes was a joke, didn’t March 14 and Hariri in particular state clearly for lik 1000 times over that the STL and everything related to it is a RED LINE and that he is not willing to negotiate on denouncing it. Doesn’t that make it clear that everything that the SS was working for was for nothing. This should be called SAS which stand for Shee Akou Sharmouta …hehe what a joke

  • JadM

    LOL the SS takes was a joke, didn’t March 14 and Hariri in particular state clearly for lik 1000 times over that the STL and everything related to it is a RED LINE and that he is not willing to negotiate on denouncing it. Doesn’t that make it clear that everything that the SS was working for was for nothing. This should be called SAS which stand for Shee Akou Sharmouta …hehe what a joke