Al Liwa sources: The cabinet was “Made in Syria’


Al Liwa sources at the new opposition revealed the key role that Syrian president Bashar al Assad played which led to the formation of the cabinet after five months of infighting over shares in the new government.

The sources revealed that MP Walid Jumblatt who threatened to leave the new majority due to its failure in forming the cabinet received a call 24 hours after his meeting at the parliament with speaker Nabih Berri ( and 6 other March 8 figures) from a top Syrian official informing him that Assad will be able to see him on Friday (and he set a specific appointment time for him ), knowing that Jumblatt never asked for such a meeting with the Syrian leader.

Immediately after Jumblatt returned to Beirut , Lebanese newspaper reported that Jumblatt brought back the green light from Syria. Assad reportedly urged jumblatt to deliver a message to the new majority urging it to form the cabinet quickly.

The sources also revealed that a day before Jumblatt had his meeting with Assad , Taha Mikati , brother of PM Nagib Mikati visited the Syrian leader in Damascus. He too brought back the same type message to his brother and the new majority .

According to the sources Assad’s messages prompted Mikati to head to Baabda early morning on Monday with a cabinet lineup of 24 ministers that did not include the 6 state ministers and urged president Suleiman to issue a decree on its formation . After he was able to convince Suleiman , Speaker Nabih Berri was contacted and asked to come to Baabda ……and the rest is history .

Based on above the new opposition considers the cabinet was made in Syria , arguing that the Syrian regime, which chose the path of military confrontation with the opposition is in dire need of a Lebanese government of his own making to use as his exclusive card in negotiations with the outside world which intensified the pressure on it.

The March 14 opposition vowed on Wednesday to confront ” attempts by the new Lebanese cabinet to take Lebanon back to the era of Syrian hegemony and integrate the country’s institutions into Hezbollah’s statelet.”

The general-secretariat of March 14 said after its weekly meeting that it would prevent Mikati’s government to “return Lebanon to the dark stage that the Cedar Revolution liberated” after former PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination in February 2005.

The Iranian- and Syrian backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members and possibly Syria, in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005

Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah March 8 alliance and MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination and refused to join the government.

Jumblatt and his PSP parliament members reportedly switched allegiance to Hezbollah’s PM candidate, following threats by Hezbollah.

Jumblatt, Mikati and Safadi were all elected on March 14 electoral tickets during the 2009 parliamentary elections.