An Event and a Regional Trend

The information circulated by the press concerning the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s tour in the area say that Rice generalizes hypothetical atmospheres concerning the anticipation of a Syrian-Iranian dispute through suggesting to Arab officials that there are disputes between Syria and Iran and urging them to strengthen the Saudi influence in Iraq and Palestine, starting off from the need to what she calls as an Arab axis to face the Iranian influence.
The available press information stress the reality of the US movements that aim at provoking some Arab governments against Syria and pushing them to direct political coordination and cooperation with Israel.
The stories about the Syrian-Iranian dispute were generalized by the press for some months despite the size of the big development in the strength of the alliance between Tehran and Damascus, which continued for 30 years, but the Americans and their Arab allies want to nurture enmity against Iran in return for allying with Israel, and this issue forgets the reality of the Syrian-Iranian relations, which are based on the centrality of the Arab- Zionist conflict in the area and form a real support to the Arab forces of resistance and steadfastness.
Evidences refute Condoleezza Rice’s dreams about an Iranian-Syrian dispute, but some Arab governments, which boycott Damascus and open lines of communications with Tel Aviv, believe these dreams although the Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar quoted Palestinian sources as saying that what Rice said refer to the destructive and hellish aspect of the US provocation. Rice said the area should be entrenched in an Arab camp and an Iranian camp, and conflict should continue between these two camps until one of them destroys the other. This theory means a comprehensive destruction of all the regional energies and potentials that oppose the Israeli control over the Middle East.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Commenting on press reports, one of the opposition leaders said today that the US support of al-Siniora government reveals exciting realities while its fearful goals express financial and economic avidities and dictations that do not serve the Lebanese people’s interests.
When an air bridge was announced to support the army after the eruption of battles in Tripoli and Nahr Al-Bared camp between al-Qaeda groups and the army, it turned out that the received shipments were bulletproofs for individuals, military boots, and expired shells, and despite this, the involved Lebanese sides received a US bill demanding the price of the equipment sent to the army.
The press said there are two conditions for the US financial aids to Lebanon (270 million dollars) approved at Paris conference. The two conditions are increasing the price of the fuel and consequently the price of the electricity and lifting the state support to prices and services. The second condition is privatizing communications and enabling the US corporations to find footholds in the Lebanese communications sectors, which attract the US attention due to their high profits and security importance for the US intelligence, which coordinates with Israel to find channels for surveillance and espionage that target Lebanese resistance and Syria despite the high qualifications of the US embassy’s crew and the technical access that the Americans and their allies have to the Lebanese communications networks benefiting from facilities under the title of Fouad Siniora government’s coordination with friendly states, especially Bush’s government and his dear secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

Arab and International Press

The Saudi paper Al-Sahrq al-Awsat cited President Bush’s warnings to the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Maleki which said that if he wants Iran to play an important role, he should know that things do not happen this way.
The Iranian paper Goya said there are contradictions in the stands of a number of Iranian officials concerning the US arms deals with Israel and Saudi Arabia. Some politicians considered the two deals as a threat to Iran, while the military belittled the importance of these deals, stressing that the July aggression on Lebanon has proved the impotence of the military capability in confronting the fighters’ determination.
The Iranian paper Amroz said the Baghdad talks, among Iran, the US and Iraq resulted in detailed agreements on the security condition in Iraq which call for comprehensive cooperation against the terrorist groups.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said the Damascus meeting on Iraq has witnessed an exchange of accusations concerning the responsibility of violence and the fighters’ infiltration through the borders to Iraq, pointing out that Saudi Arabia did not inform Damascus about the reasons of its representatives’ absence. — The international and Arab press said the UNRWA has warned from an imminent collapse of the economy in Gaza Strip and the danger of the Israeli nuclear waste on all the West Bank.
Arab press said Russia takes steps to develop its strategic weapons. The Saudi paper Al-Sharq al-Awsat said the French president Nicolas Sarkozy will offer President Bush the French reading of the Lebanese crisis and its outlets, pointing out that Paris has adopted the principle of electing the Lebanese president through the presence of two thirds of the representatives.

Lebanese Press

Lebanese press concentrated on the presidential merit, saying the opposition insists on modifying the government first, while the loyalists insists on the priority of the presidential merit.
A Lebanese paper said the Saudi ambassador has received two proposals from the March 14 team: clinging to the coincidence of the two governmental and presidential topics and going directly to the presidential topic.
The papers said the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner did not set a date for his return to Beirut to launch again his initiative and seems patient due to the new complications of the Lebanese crisis, but he is determined to continue his efforts after receiving new data.
The press added that Kouchner’s advisers have asked him to head for Damascus before returning to Beirut.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered if the ruling team has returned to the game of wasting time after al-Matn’s defeat and Beirut’s setback to wait for the date of the presidential merit and open the way for violating the constitution since it is unable to impose its conditions on the opposition.
The NTV said Nahr al-Bared battles have escalated after the intervention of the army’s helicopters.
The NBN wondered if the ruling team will take the opportunity of salvation that the house speaker talked about or strangle it.
The OTV (which is close to the National Liberal Trend) said the newly elected representatives have received their offices from the parliament’s secretariat.
The LBC said that the representative Ali Hasan Khalil’s declaration that the house speaker will not launch a new initiative has contracted hopes for opening the horizons of solving the crisis.
The Future said Nahr al-Bared’s battles have witnessed new field developments.

Television Stations’ interviews’ in Lebanon

Program: People’s Talk
Representative Michel al-Murr said what was mentioned about the Armenians after the by-elections in al-Matn is a disaster, pointing out that he supports nominating General Michel Aoun for presidency.

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on in Arabic, English and French languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic and English.