Saudi-Syrian efforts to solve Lebanon deadlock fail: Hezbollah ally
Months-long efforts led by Saudi Arabia and Syria to break Lebanon's deadlock over a UN-backed court probing the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri have failed, the March 8 alliance led by Shiite armed group Hezbollah announced Tuesday, Xinhua reported.
"The Saudi-Syrian initiative has ended with no results," Lebanese Christian leader and key ally of Hezbollah Michel Aoun told reporters in Rabieh, north of Beirut.
Aoun said Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has not responded to these efforts and they have now reached a deadlock.
Lebanon's two main power brokers Saudi Arabia and Syria have launched efforts last August to solve the stalemate over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is believed to indict Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination.
The powerful Shiite group slammed the court an "Israeli project " aimed to target the party's fight against Israel. Hezbollah has called on Hariri to discredit the tribunal, withdraw Lebanese judges serving in it and cut Lebanon's contribution to the court.
Many fear that if the Netherlands-based tribunal points the finger at Hezbollah violence between Sunnis and Shiites will erupt in Lebanon.
Aoun said the March 8 coalition was informed by Hezbollah as well as Saudi Arabia and Syria of the failure of the initiative.
Aoun's announcement came after Saad Hariri discussed in New York with Jordanian King Abdullah II, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the situation in Lebanon.
The Lebanese Prime Minister is expected to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Wednesday.
But the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition has given Hariri and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman a deadline of 24 hours to convene a Cabinet session to discuss the Lebanese crisis before taking action.
Several media reports said the March 8-affiliated ministers would submit their resignations from the Cabinet dragging the country deeper into an impasse.