An event and a Regional Trend

The Saudi–Egyptian summit in Cairo has issued a statement about the Annapolis conference describing it as the conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The statement said that the two sides wish success to this conference and hope for achieving tangible results.
The statement added that this is the stand of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. They want reaching tangible results that open the way for dealing with all the tracks of the peace process and for a similar progress among Syria, Israel and Lebanon.
Arab diplomatic sources said the statements meet all the US demands and conditions without any modification, discussion or reservation despite the dim results of the preparations, which were limited to a statement that does not reflect clear Israeli commitments to peace.
What is more dangerous is that the Saudi-Egyptian statement violates the concept of the just and comprehensive peace, included in the Arab peace initiative which covers the issue of Jerusalem, the refugees’ right to return and the comprehensiveness of the solution.
The meetings in Cairo are dedicated for such understandings and this may lead to pledging comprehensive relations with Israel under the US pressures, in return for a statement that does not offer anything new on the Palestinian track.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The important speech delivered by the Secretary General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah has attracted the attention of the political and press circles. The loyalists moved quickly to launch a provocative campaign, considering the speech a provocative action that obstructs the endeavors of conciliation. A leading opponent said that some reactions of March 14 alliance were rude and vulgar and there was no serious discussion of the political stand announced by one of the great leaders, the leader of the Lebanese resistance and the symbol of defending sovereignty and independence against the Zionist enemy.
Analysts said the speech shocked the loyalists, because it confronted the dangers of preserving the status quo in the country at the end of president Lahoud’s term and the attempts to obstruct the French endeavors.
A distinguished leader in the opposition said the dangers may result from the following factors:
- Despite the US authorization for Sarkozy, the US provocation continues and this means not facilitating the French initiative.
- The campaigns by Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geagea under the title of the half plus one and their condensed work to obstruct Bkerki’s initiative’s mechanism continue . - It seems that the US wants to keep al-Siniora in office to prevent president Lahoud from taking any steps before the end of his constitutional term.
Informed sources in the opposition said that Hassan Nasrallah’s speech concerning the presidential file, has protected the conciliation initiatives, because it drew a specific and clear ceiling for conciliation and renewed the opposition’s commitment to it. But the loyal press tried to black out this.
The sources added that the speech will motivate the involved sides not to bear the cost of the confrontation and its consequences and reflections on activating their movement to avoid the coming dangers.

Arab and International Press

Amos Ha’rel said in an article published in some Israeli papers that the possibility of the eruption of a new war on the northern front raises the concern of the Israeli army’s leadership, which anticipates that the war will be horrible due to Syria’s huge missiles’ arsenal.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the Lebanese have delayed the presidential elections for the third time, because the attempts to understand a president merit have failed.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said that for many centuries, Latin America was a farm for the Europeans and the Americans, who stole its resources by force, but some Latin American leaders like Hugo Chavez, Moralis, Ortega and Castro’s deputy Carlos are leading a new intifada against the Western domination.
Dr. Abdul Ilah Belkziz published in an article in some Arab papers which said that the Arabs face an American project that started 60 years ago with Baghdad alliance, pointing out that the Arabs have no project today and the US occupation of Iraq represents an occupation of the Arab collective will.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said it seems that Secretary General of Hezbollah has turned the table upside down on everybody, announcing that the discussion should concentrate on the real characteristics of the president, especially his internal work and reforms and his stand towards the international resolutions.
As-Safir said the French envoy said that the situation in Lebanon is difficult and we can not talk about achieving a progress.
An-Nahar said Hassan Nasrallah has raised an escalating storm by his speech and surprised not only the loyalists but also many sides in the opposition.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the speech of Hassan Nasrallah establishes a new Lebanese stage.
The NTV said the devil of details hampers optimism concerning the presidential file.
The NBN said the military maneuver, carried out recently by the resistance, is real and Lebanon passes in a dangerous stage.
The OTV wondered how the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner will approach the presidential problem in his coming visit since he knows by heart the nature of the dilemma.
The LBC said Hassan Nasrallah called for the first time president Lahoud to launch a rescue initiative.
The Future said representative Saad Hariri said the new president should concentrate on Lebanon and practice all his authorities.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

The NBN
Program: The Other Dimension
Former deputy house speaker Elli Farzli said the Sunni – Shia schism in Lebanon has fallen and will never return, pointing out that the half plus one quorum serves divisions.

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