Chairmanship of Arab League divides the Lebanese

Lebanon is set to chair the Arab League Ministerial Council starting September 5 for a six-month period but the top Lebanese officials are divided over assuming such a role, because of the Syrian uprising according to local sources.

Lebanon has been dissociating itself from the uprising in Syria which started as peaceful demonstrations against president Bashar al Assad’s regime but turned into a bloody crackdown that has so far led to 25,000 deaths. For this reason some officials have expressed fears that chairing the Arab League would harm the dissociation policy that the country has adopted since the eruption of the Syrian revolution in March 2011.

According to local sources the centrists including Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt and President Michel Suleiman prefer to reject Lebanon’s mission in the Arab League and instead ask Libya to assume the chairmanship of the Ministerial Council.

On the other the March 8 alliance which is headed by the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah militant group is insisting on assuming the chairmanship , because it believes that the Syrian crisis needs an Arab voice that is neutral and which should be acceptable to both the Syrian regime and the opposition, according to local sources.

The Hezbollah led group reportedly wants to use the chairmanship as an opportunity to garner Arab support for the condemnation of the Israeli violations of Security Council Resolution 1701 and the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

If Lebanon assumes the chairmanship of the Arab League then the foreign minister Adnan Mansour will be representing Lebanon.

Mansour comes from the Shiite Muslim Amal Movement party which, along with Hezbollah , supports the embattled Syrian president .

The current Lebanese government is dominated by Hezbollah and was reportedly made in Syria.

Mansour has been accused on several occasions of acting on orders from Syria , but since Hezbollah dominates the cabinet prime minister Najib Mikati cannot fire him.

There are conflicting reports on Mikati’s stand on the issue. Some reports indicated that he supports the centrist position of Jumblatt and Suleiman while other reports indicate that he supports Hezbollah’s position. According to observers , since Hezbollah and Syria brought the premier to power he may be obligated to push for the chairmanship of the Arab League next month.

  • AusLeb

    What a sad state of a “country” this has become, we cant even take the opportunity or privilege of chairing the league where we can use our voice to help support the Lebanese people but instead Hezbollah wants to use it to defend Palestine (where is our Lebanese defense??????) and the others are scared because they might be forced to say something that Syria is not happy with…. Grow some ball$!….. We might as well stop doing anything in the international community as we can not even represent ourselves… sad…

  • AusLeb

    What a sad state of a “country” this has become, we cant even take the opportunity or privilege of chairing the league where we can use our voice to help support the Lebanese people but instead Hezbollah wants to use it to defend Palestine (where is our Lebanese defense??????) and the others are scared because they might be forced to say something that Syria is not happy with…. Grow some ball$!….. We might as well stop doing anything in the international community as we can not even represent ourselves… sad…

  • dateam

    well not vying for one side or the other but one must assume that if we were to chair it all agendas should be discussed shouldnt they? isnt that what this responsibility is supposed to assume? dosent matter what political side you are on all arab issues shouls be discussed…by backing away are we not losing legitamcy? if anything the issues of refugees should be brought up because it is becoming a serious problem we dont know who or what is in lebanon and add to that 500,000 palestinians….

  • dateam

    well not vying for one side or the other but one must assume that if we were to chair it all agendas should be discussed shouldnt they? isnt that what this responsibility is supposed to assume? dosent matter what political side you are on all arab issues shouls be discussed…by backing away are we not losing legitamcy? if anything the issues of refugees should be brought up because it is becoming a serious problem we dont know who or what is in lebanon and add to that 500,000 palestinians….

    • 5thDrawer

      Hezbollah sees itself as ‘neutral’ ?????? What delusion !! They didn’t even win an election to be where they are, so why think it possible to represent 18 sects and several tribes and gangs??
      Let Libya have the ‘joy’ of ‘dialoguing’ for six months with people who can’t separate government from belief. Their only problem is tribal these days, and their government is an elected one.

      • dateam

        I think you have misunderstood me….my point is we as a country should still carry on our duty and responsibility inspite…now let’s say if for example the other side were in power are you telling me that they wouldn’t want to go? Haven’t all parties agreed inluding the president of the dissassoiation policy??? And let’s be realistic the dissasociation policy on the ground does not exist…the hezb is not neutral and neither is the other side ….just look at the comments made by some politiicians hzb is defending and jumblatt,fatfat,hariri,daher gagea etc are attacking …….hzb helping assad north leb is funnelling weapons and fighters I and you are not naïve to think that is not happening….problem is syria directly affects lebanon and if deisions are going to be made I would rather be a part of don’t u think?? In terms of libya I wouldn’t hold my breath didn’t you see the idiots dig up graves and destroy them after ghaffi fell beause their “non believers”? Its quiet there now because half the militias are in syria….also I assume with something like this it would be sleiman that represented us

        • 5thDrawer

          I see your point. Trying to be fence-sitters doesn’t seem to help anyway, does it? And for sure Libya  still has it’s problems with ancient doh-heads. If we consider the ‘chairman’s job’ is to keep the rank and file in line and see that ‘rules’ are followed in debates, and that the subjects discussed are viable with people not going off-topic, then to some extent it only requires a ‘neutral’ head to be the chair. The ‘chair’ of any ‘organization’ MUST follow the rules too. Neutrality required. Otherwise, it’s a farce.