Lebanon’s Al-Manar Highlights Saudi Role


Al-Manar Television, Beirut
8 Aug 07

Beirut Al-Manar Television in Arabic leads its 1630 gmt newscast on 8
August 2007 with a political commentary on the revival of the Saudi
role in holding political contacts and the opposition’s position
towards the upcoming presidential elections on 25 September.

The commentary begins by noting that after the intensity of the
row over the by-elections in Al-Matn that resulted in the "defeat"
of Amin al-Jumayyil has declined, political contacts were revived
through Saudi Ambassador Abd-al-Aziz Khawjah, who returned from a
long vacation and began "reconnaissance" visits to political leaders
since the "staggering" solution for the presidential elections and
national unity government has not yet achieved any progress.

The commentary adds that this is true in view of the regional
situation as "the Saudi-Iranian contacts are still frozen, the
Syrian-Saudi relations are witnessing a stage of undeclared tension,
which was evident in Riydh’s absence from Damascus’s security meeting
on Iraq today although it was attended by the United States for the
first time at this level," in addition to the fact that France is
"exercising caution" following the intensive visits and contacts held
by its foreign minister and his envoy.

Al-Manar notes that "the United States remains the main side that
undertakes obstructing any solution. Hence, the Lebanese politicians
hold on to their position, awaiting the decisive factor of time
ahead of the 25 September, the date of the presidential elections,
which was always linked to an international-regional deal that would
reshape of the upcoming phase."

The station adds that French foreign minister and Arab League secretary
general will not return to Beirut at the time being. Meanwhile,
informed sources told Al-Manar that the Saudi-Iranian contacts on
the Lebanese file and the Saudi-Syrian relations "are expected to
witnesses more complications" as the date of the international peace
conference is drawing near, the channel adds.

Meanwhile, Al-Manar comments on the "defeat" of Al-Jumayyil by saying
that his allies "disavowed" his positions towards the Armenian
community and employed them against him, an evidence of "treason"
among the 14 March Forces, "which appear to be united, but in fact
they are divided."

The station also highlights the remarks of deputies on the presidential
elections. Al-Manar notes that Deputy Ali Hasan Khalil "denied" the
reports on the approval of Nabih Birri, speaker of the Chamber of
Deputies, on reaching a solution for the national unity government
and the presidential elections simultaneously.

It is well-known that the opposition is holding on to its demand to
establish a national unity government being the "gateway" to reaching a
solution and a "safety valve" for the upcoming phase ahead of holding
the presidential elections, the station adds.

Ali Hasan Khalil, political assistant to Nabih Birri, notes that
the most important thing is how to create favourable atmospheres
to hold the presidential elections, which can be secured though the
establishment of a national unity government.

Meanwhile, Deputy Abbas Hashim, member of the Change and Reform Bloc,
says that Al-Jumayyil should "rephrase his political discourse" and
Walid Junblatt, head of the Democratic Gathering, and Sa’d al-Hariri,
head of the Future Bloc "should learn the lesson" from what happened
in Beirut by-elections.

The station notes that the authority team insists on avoiding the
proposed solutions after "agreeing to be part of the US national
security at the expense of Lebanon’s internal security and stability."

The station cites Deputy Butrus Harb as saying that the most
important thing when electing a president is that this person "should
maintain the same distance from all the parties, he should not be
a representative of a team against another team in the authority,
and he should not be biased to a certain party."

Al-Manar also highlights Emile Lahhud’s statements in which he said
that he "will not hand power over" to the Lebanese Government if
the new president of the republic was not elected based on two-third
quorum at the Chamber of Deputies.

Al-Manar also cites Wi’am Wahhab, head of the Lebanese Unification
Movement, as emphasizing that Michel Awn faced "a world war" during
Al-Matn by-elections. Nonetheless, he "achieved victory" based on
his political decisions.

Wahhab adds the opposition will choose one of four people for the
presidential elections on 25 September. The names of the four people
are: "Michel Awn, the general, head of the Free Patriotic Movement,
and head of the Change and Reform Bloc."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS