ANKARA: Armenian Parties To Be Obstacle To Turkey In Lebanon: Expert

Journal of Turkish Weekly
Aug 1 2009

Influence Of Armenian Parties To Be Obstacle To Turkey In Lebanon:

Saturday, 1 August 2009
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 31 / Trend News, U.Sadikhova /

Turkey, as the only geopolitical and strategic partner of Israel, can
help Beirut resolve the conflict with it, but the role of Ankara in
resolving domestic political problems of Lebanon is unlikely, said a
Lebanese analyst Mahmoud Haidar.

Haidar believes that the problem for Turkey in participating in the
internal affairs of Lebanon could be the influence of the Armenian
parties in the country.

"Turkey is the only country in the region, which can take a balanced
position in relations of the Arab countries and Israel, and in future,
this may play an important role in the conflict of Lebanon and
Israel," Haidar, head of Delta Studies Center, told Trend News by
telephone from Beirut.

However, with regards to the participation of Turkey in solving the
internal political crisis in Lebanon, Haidar does not see Ankara as a
mediator in the view of the influence of Armenian parties in the
country’s parliament.

During his two days visit to Lebanon, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed
Davudoglu said that Turkey is ready and will cooperate in establishing
stability in the Middle East, including in Lebanon, Arabic Al-Sharq
al-Ausat newspaper reported.

The Turkish Foreign Minister added that the stability in Lebanon means
the stability in the whole region, and Turkey will make every effort
in this direction.

In addition to meetings with the government, Davudoglu held a meeting
with the head of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese Parliament
Mohammed Raad. Although the meeting was closed, Davudoglu and Raad
discussed the issues of national reconciliation in Lebanon, The
Journal of Turkish Weekly reported.

Davudoglu expressed satisfaction of the Turkish government with the
recent elections in Lebanon in June and the process of national
reconciliation between the opposition Hezbollah and the parliamentary
majority March 14.

The independent Lebanese political scientist believes that the role of
Turkey in the reconciliation of national parties of Lebanon minimized,
since Ankara does not have close historical and political ties with
the Lebanese parties.

He said that Turkey may be given a "moral role" in establishing
national reconciliation between the opposition and government as a
Moslem country participating in regional conflicts in the Middle
East. However, Haidar considers that even Egypt, which mediates in
many processes of reconciliation in the Arab countries, was not able
to help Lebanon on the way of national dialogue.

The main stage of national dialogue in Lebanon takes place between
pro-Iranian Hezbollah Party and pro-Western coalition March 14 led by
Sad Al-Hariri, which won the parliamentary elections and must form a
new Cabinet of Ministers. However, Hezbollah has denied requirement of
March 14 to give the right of veto in the parliament to the president
to stop armament away from the Lebanese national army.

Last year, the Lebanese government gave Hezbollah the right to
armament in case of an attack by Israel on the country.

Haidar believes that the main obstacle to Turkey in Lebanon will be
the Armenian faction, which has had influence in Lebanon for a long

As a result of elections in June, six Armenians gained seats in

"This will be a major problem for Turkey if it wants to play a direct
role in the internal politics of Lebanon," said Haidar.

However, in the future, Ankara should be seen as the key mediator in
the reconciliation between Lebanon and Israel, he said.

Turkey’s role in the relations of the Arab countries and Israel
becomes geo-strategic, said Lebanese political analyst.

"Due to its strategic role, Israel conducted two major wars – in
Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009, which resulted in the weakening of
military forces inside the country," said Haidar. Today, Turkey is the
only country in the region, which could help Israel with external
support, said Haidar. – Therefore, Turkey’s strategic ties with Israel
and a balanced policy with the Arab countries in the future will be
one of the strategic steps in the Arab-Israeli reconciliation,
particularly in Lebanon.

"The only thing that can be expected in Lebanon from the role of
Turkey is the reconciliation with Israel in the future. Yet this issue
has not an extensive discussion, but in the future will be one of the
main strategies," said Haidar.

Formerly, Ankara was a key and only mediator in the indirect
Syrian-Israeli talks, which were re-established last year after eight
years interruption. Despite the fifth round of talks, Syria and Israel
have failed to agree upon beginning direct dialogue, and in December,
after the Israeli attack on Gaza, Damascus stopped the peace process.

The Turkish government has expressed willingness to again become a
mediator if the sides agree on a new round of negotiations.

Saturday, 1 August 2009
Trend News Agency

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