Lebanon FM under fire over Syria


mansour  arab leagueLebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour was  accused on    Wednesday  by former PM Saad Hariri of acting on behalf of  the Syrian regime  when he called for lifting    Syria’s suspension from the Arab League during the meeting of the Arab Foreign ministers in Cairo.

“What kind of a dissociation policy is this and who authorized him to speak on behalf of the Syrian regime” , Hariri was quoted as saying ” .

He asked: “Is he the Foreign minister of Lebanon or Syria ?”

Damascus was suspended from membership of the Cairo-based League in November 2011, eight months into what began as a peaceful popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

“I call for Syria’s membership of the Arab League to be lifted,” Mansour told a League ministerial meeting. “Communication with Syria … is essential for a political solution.”

“We have held meetings over two years and taken decision after decision thinking that with them we will be providing Syria with security and stability by removing the regime and replacing it with another – while Syria sank into blood and destruction,”added Mansour.

Qatar, which has led efforts at the League against Damascus, blamed Assad for nearly two years of bloodshed in Syria in which an estimated 70,000 people have been killed.

“The person who brought a sea of blood is Bashar because he did not commit to the Arab decisions and did not cooperate with us,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani told the meeting.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government is dominated by Hezbollah which has been supporting the Syrian regime in its crackdown against the uprising . Mikati according to observers cannot fire Mansour for disobedience because he is a member of the Amal party which is headed by Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah.

Mikati, along with president Michel Suleiman have  sought to follow a policy of “dissociation” from the conflict in Lebanon’s dominant neighbor, but they are powerless since the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group calls all the shots now in Lebanon , according to observers

One million refugees have fled Syria, piling pressure on its neighbors the United Nations refugee agency said on Wednesday. Lebanon, which  is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees despite being the smallest country in the region is  struggling to support them.