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Experts: Lebanon's fate hinges on internal efforts

Politics Materials 28 January 2011 09:00
Although Lebanon's opposing forces are supported by powers outside the country, the fate of the authorities and their policies does not depend on foreign governments. Rather, internal forces must achieve mutual understanding to cool the situation and resolve the crisis, experts believe.
Experts: Lebanon's fate hinges on internal efforts

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 27 / Trend D. Khatinoglu /

Although Lebanon's opposing forces are supported by powers outside the country, the fate of the authorities and their policies does not depend on foreign governments. Rather, internal forces must achieve mutual understanding to cool the situation and resolve the crisis, experts believe.

The Lebanese government collapsed during Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's visit to the United States on Jan. 12 when 11 ministers resigned. Earlier, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, carrying out a mediation mission between the two main coalitions in the country - March 8 (Hezbollah and its allies) and March 14 (pro-Western forces) - expressed the futility of their missions and officially ceased their activities.

The representatives of the country's parliament voted in favor of appointing Najib Migati as PM, supported by Hezbollah, on Jan. 25. Several MPs from the coalition March 14, including the head of the Progressive Socialist Party and some of its representatives in parliament, left the ruling coalition and joined the coalition March 8. At the moment, March 8 has majority in parliament. Its position is close to Iran and Syria.

Earlier, Migati said he is not a representative of any coalition. Only national unity is significant for him.

Iran has played a mediating role in Lebanon. But the unsuccessful mediation of Saudi Arabia and other countries in resolving the internal crisis in the country has further strengthened the credibility of Iran in Lebanon, Talal Atrissi  doctor of Political Sciences at "Lebanon" University told Trend over the phone.

"Despite this, the internal forces in Lebanon will determine the fate of the PM and the government at the last moment," Atrissi said.

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper published an analytical article on Jan. 26. It is noted that Migati is not an ally of Iran and Hezbollah, but he has good relations with Syria, France and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Migati was appointed the acting PM after a terrorist attack committed against Saad al-Hariri's father Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

The coalition March 14 is convinced that Hezbollah and Syria were involved in the terrorist attack against Hariri.

There are external forces supporting both Lebanese coalitions, but despite this, the crisis can only be resolved internally through adherence to law and mutual understanding, General Director of the Arabic-language Iranian newspaper Al Vefagh and expert on Lebanon Mosayeb Naimi told Trend.

"Earlier, Lebanon, through the Taif Agreement and the mediation of Qatar, coped with two internal crises. I believe that the current crisis will not last long," Naimi said over the phone from Tehran.

An agreement on an equal number of Muslims and Christians in parliament was achieved 20 years ago. This agreement, called the Taif Convention, put the end to the bloody confrontation in 1990 that existed in the country since 1975.

Saad al-Hariri, with the mediation of Qatar, achieved the agreement 14 months ago to form a government with the opposition coalition March 8. According to the agreement, Hezbollah and its allies will recognize Saad al-Hariri as PM, if 11 ministers in the government are elected from the opposition.

According to both experts, the government of al-Hariri was unable to create national unity, while Migati has more chances to achieve stability in the country.

Al-Hariri called on his supporters conducting protests in a number of Sunni cities to calm down. Naimi said that taking into account that al-Hariri recognized the collapse of the Lebanese government and that March 8 has a majority of MP seats at the moment, al-Hariri's repeated attempt to become PM will be futile.

According to Lebanese law, a Christian must be elected as president, a Shia Muslim as speaker of parliament, and a Sunni Muslim as PM. Lebanon is a parliamentary republic.

Naimi said the Party for Social Development is represented in parliament by 12 people, of which seven, including party leader Walid Jumblatt, entered March 8. The other five MPs remained in March 14. He said this is a primary indicator of democracy in Lebanon. Taking into account this fact, the attempts of external forces to resolve Lebanon's fate are futile.

A.     Tagiyeva contributed to the article.

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