Suleiman met several Lebanese leaders to ease tension


Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Thursday launched a fresh effort to ease the tension in Lebanon.

Suleiman met separately with former Lebanese president and Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel , Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun, Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh, Deputy Speaker Farid Mekari, former Prime Minister P Najib Mikati, Minister of State Jean Oghassabian, and the head of the Syrian Social National Party Asaad Hardan.

According to local reports Suleiman intends to launch another round of national dialogue talks.

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, others aren’t as worried and see this as a desperate attempt by Hezbollah to intimidate and scare the Lebanese and specially PM Saad Hariri. Some analysts believe that Hezbollah may use the indictment as an excuse to launch an attack against Israel .

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 the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun , (a close ally of Hezbollah ) said on November 18 that Hezbollah might violently respond to an STL indictment that accuses Hezbollah party’s members in Hariri’s assassination.

Aoun on Tuesday called for a compromise before STL issues its indictment .

” We hope that a compromise will happen, since no one wants a clash. But is there a wish for compromise ? If this wish is found, then is there ability , especially since there is an international game and it appears that they cannot separate themselves from it”.



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