Jumblatt brands meeting with Feltman, frank & friedly


Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt wrote in his weekly column to be published Tuesday in Al-Anbaa newspaper describing his meeting on Sunday with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman as friendly and frank.

He said that revolved around the Arab-Israeli struggle and Lebanese domestic affairs.

Assistant US Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Beirut from Riyadh on Sunday and met with President Michel Suleiman to deliver a message from US President Barack Obama reaffirming US commitment to a “stable, secure, independent and sovereign Lebanon.”

Jumblatt’s statement about his meeting with Feltman contradicts the statement issued on Monday by the pro-Syrian newspaper Al-Akhbar, which wrote quoting unnamed sources:”The outcome of the Sunday meeting between Feltman and Jumblatt was not positive”.

Meeting with Nasrallah

Jumblatt met also last night with Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah ‘to discuss the latest local and regional developments.’

A statement issued by Hezbollah on Monday said Nasrallah and Jumblatt also reviewed ‘efforts to contain the crises and challenges facing Lebanon.’

Jumblatt was accompanied by Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi and Nasrallah was accompanied by his security chief Wafiq Safa.

Tension escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim.

Jumblatt is reportedly concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife.