Amal Movement MP Ali Hassan Khalil told Al-Manar television on Friday that Saudi-Syrian talks are the only initiative to resolve Lebanon’s crisis.
“We are counting on this initiative which is moving forward,” Khalil said, adding that the US has been using pressure to obstruct Syrian-Saudi efforts.
In a related development Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Assiri denied on Friday the reports claiming that the Syrian-Saudi efforts aimed at defusing tensions in Lebanon over a U.N.-backed probe into the murder of ex-PM Rafik Hariri have reached a dead end .
“Contacts, although unofficial, are still ongoing through all means,” Assiri stressed in an interview with NBN television.
He stressed that the Saudi leadership “will not renounce its commitments towards Lebanon or its cooperation with the Syrian leadership.”
Assiri said that the priorities of Saudi King Abdullah are “Lebanon’s security and stability.”
“The situation is heading towards a major breakthrough and we will see the Lebanese closing ranks,” the Saudi envoy reassured everyone that the solution must be Lebanese.
“Lebanese officials themselves must take steps towards fending off civil strife, which only the enemy of Lebanon (Israel) hopes to see happening,” the Saudi diplomat added.
Commenting on the latest media leaks about the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Assiri called for observing the “contradictions” published by some media outlets, mentioning German weekly Der Spiegel and Canada’s national broadcaster CBC.
He warned about the media leaks about the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebano and said “they are aimed at sowing discord among the Lebanese.”
Ad-Diyar reported that the Lebanese Foreign Affairs Ministry received a notification from Lebanon’s Embassy in the Netherlands that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will issue its indictment on December 2. Lebanese Ambassador to Netherlands Zaidan as-Saghir has reportedly also confirmed that the indictment will be issued on December 2
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, the Hezbollah chief 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. Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL.
Some leaders are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife.
The Pro Syrian Al Akhbar newspaper reported earlier in the month that Hezbollah has prepared a plan to take over Lebanon when STL issues its indictment for the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun , (a close ally of Hezbollah ) said last Wednesday that Hezbollah might violently respond to an STL indictment that accuses Hezbollah party’s members in Hariri’s assassination.
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