Justice minister: Lebanon heading toward settlement in 2011


Lebanese Minister of Justice Ibrahim Najjar told Orient TV in an interview on Friday: “Lebanon is heading toward settlement in 2011 due to concessions made by all parties.”

“Any reports about the Saudi-Syrian settlement are rumors,” Najjar said , adding, “I have no information about a change in government.”

Saudi and Syrian officials have reportedly been working on a compromise that would resolve tensions in Lebanon over the imminent STL indictment . Reports say that the STL may soon indict Hezbollah members in its investigation of the murder of former PM Rafik Hariri.

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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