Saudi envoy: The initiative should be all Lebanese


The initiative to resolve the Lebanese situation should be an all-Lebanese one, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Assiri told MTV on Thursday adding that all political parties should discuss matters in national dialogue sessions

Assiri stressed that Saudi Arabia does not interfere in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), , adding that Syrian-Saudi efforts are ongoing.

Similarly Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdel Karim Ali commented on the Syrian-Saudi agreement following a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami : We’re optimistic, but the Lebanese parties must exert efforts, cooperate and talk to each other. An agreement that will emerge in early 2011 will depend on the Lebanese efforts.

Lebanon PM Saad Hariri’s trip to new York and his meeting with the Saudi Monarch and his subsequent trip to Riyadh have fueled a lot of speculation about the Saudi-Syrian initiative .

The pro-Syrian Al-Akhbar newspaper said Wednesday that a Saudi-Syrian (S-S) compromise based on Lebanon’s withdrawal from the international tribunal is likely to be announced by January 15.

On the other hand Al-Akhbar reported that only three insiders were really up-to-date with the deal: King Abdullah, Assad and Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Al-Akhbar is reportedly very close to Nasrallah and its “columns are widely viewed as telegraphs from the Hezbollah leadership”

Even the Israeli newspapers are speculating about the outcome of the S-S initiative. “Saudi Arabia is putting more pressure on Prime Minister Saad Hariri to reject the Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of his father ex-PM,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday .

March 14 leaders on the other hand have been denying all these reports and are saying “all what is being reported is strictly speculation”.

Future Movement official Mustafa Allouch said on Wednesday that his party ( which is headed by PM Saad Hariri) will not accept any solution that would call for canceling the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment.

He told OTV that the Future Movement’s position is to hold on to the STL and its indictment, which, he added, he hopes is issued as soon as possible “so things can move forward .”



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