An Event and a Regional Trend

Many western diplomats who visit the area notice the absence of the Saudi and Egyptian role in the area’s affairs which attract the attention of all the active regional and international circles. Some observers said that the presence of these two big Arab states is complementary to the number of the invited sides as it happened in Istanbul conference on Lebanon and the regional and international conference on Iraq, and as it happened in the Palestinian topic. What was humiliating was the meeting which was led by the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on Iraq with military discipline while the development of events show that the Saudi and the Egyptian role submits to the US policy in all the area’s files.
The development of events since the occupation of Iraq leads to this impression. The Egyptian and Saudi political, financial and press potentials changed into a tool for the US policy in the area. Sharm el-Sheikh meeting on last spring laid the foundation of this tool’s work.
It is clear for observers that the US cancels the regional role of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt while the door is opened for a US-French dealing with Syria’s regional role because Syria is an active Arab state and the other sides should reach understandings with it after it mastered the administration of conflict in the Arab world.
The occasion for this trend is the Egyptian-Saudi summit, and the question to be posed here: will Saudi Arabia and Egypt rebel against the US ban and return to form an Arab triangle with Syria or will they accept Bush’s will that canceled their role?

An Event and a Lebanese Trends

The communications held by the French presidential delegation yesterday revealed the presence of a main complex that obstructs conciliation which results from the degree of political tension among the Christian sides. This pushed Bkerki to stress its rejection of entering the stage of naming the candidate in accordance with the mechanism that the French delegation moved through in its search for a new president. It is clear that next week will witness condensed French communications on the Lebanese, regional and international levels to accelerate conciliation climate and use the preliminary authorization that Sarkozy received from the US president despite the shadows of doubt thrown by the recent US statements on this authorization. The loyalists, who follow the US dictations, escalated tension which prevented the Maronite patriarchy form naming candidates and obstructed the French mechanism for conciliation, since the house speaker Berry and representative al-Hariri wait for Bkerki’s word and the list of names which include the approved names.
The sources which are close to the French initiative said that president Sarkozy is determined to make an achievement in the topic of Lebanese presidency and stressed the size of the Syrian response which motivated France to move.
The Lebanese tense atmospheres wait for the results of the delegates who come to Lebanon. The Lebanese interaction with the French initiative appeared in the opposition’ response to all the efforts that aim at achieving a solution.
But the loyalists chose to escalate, and representative al-Hariri denied his clinging to the two thirds quorum and sent messages about this to a number of active political sides but the pressures of his allies were behind the statement of his press office concerning this issue.
— The representative Waleed Junblat and leader of the Lebanese forces’ organization Sameer Gagea announced their rejection of conciliation through clinging to the half plus one option.
— This may delay the Monday session and the endeavors will continue until November 24.

Arab and International Press

The New York Times said that the US president Bush and vie-president Dick Cheney are determined to launch a military attack against Iran before the date of the presidential elections.
US Senator Jim Webb and Senator Chuck Hagel published an article in the New York Times describing the political leaders who served in the army since September 11 attacks as the greatest new generation.
Charles Krauthammer said in an article published in the Washington Post that the "brutal Islamists" are deployed on the doors of Pakistan, pointing out that Musahrraf imposes himself now as Pinochet and Marcus did before and became a source of destruction for his country.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that Israel’s stands towards head of the international atomic energy agency are sarcastic and very dangerous in their political implications. All what al Baradi did is that he announced that there are no evidences to prove that Iran is making a nuclear bomb.
Al-Watan said in its editorial that Saudi Arabia and Egypt always called for freeing the Middle East from nuclear weapons.
The Syrian paper Tichrin said in its editorial that big collapses took place in the walls of the US internal and foreign policy and America thinks that accusing others and supporting Israel will save it from its crisis.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: Al-Jazeera this Evening
Mahmud Al-Zahar, the distinct leader in Hamas, said if the Israeli soldiers enter Gaza they will leave it as splinters, pointing out that the movement does not fear Annapolis conference.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said there is an initiative from Bkerki which provides for preparing a list which contains 3 to 5 presidential candidates.
Al-Safir said the results of the French delegation’s talks in Lebanon were humble and we can say that the visit is an exploratory one.
Al-Akhbar said the French mediation clashes with the complex of naming the president.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered if the French initiative can be considered a serious work on achieving a compromise.
The NTV said the French are serious in their initiative but thy faced the Patriarch’s rejection to enter the stage of naming candidates.
The NBN said the visit of the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and the visit of the Arab league secretary general Amr Mussa will not take place if there are no signs for conciliation.
The OTV said the French endeavor is paralyzed because the half plus one option is still an invariable.
The LBC said the presidential merit entered the tunnel of the gods’ secrets, while the Future wondered if the French initiative will lead to a solution.

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.