An Event and a Regional Trend

Press circles in the area focused on Annapolis conference and if the US includes the Golan Heights and Sheba farm in the conference’s agenda Syria will achieve a political victory represented in the US submission to its condition to attend the meeting.
It is clear that this response, which was stressed by the communications of the two last days, expresses the reality of the area’s equations which forced Bush’s administration to commit to Baker-Hamilton’s documents instead of turning around it. This made the agenda of the conference cover all the tracks and this means that there are no longer calls for isolating Syria and dedicating the conference to build an alliance among some Arab governments and Israel.
Annapolis will be a field for political conflict on the concept of the compromise in the area and its framework between the Israeli dictations and conditions on the one hand and the Arab rights’ logic on the other. And if Syria attends its presence will not only be active concerning the issue of the Golan but also in the Arab approach for the concept of the compromise and its references which are considered as the spine of the Syrian stand since decades and Syria laid their foundation in the meeting between the late president Hafez al-Assad and the former US president George Bush, Sr in the eve of the call to Madrid’s conference.
The Syrian victory over the US policy of isolation and siege is becoming more clearer and the Arab delegations at Annapolis should be aware of the Syrian presence as a strength to the Arab stand unless they choose to be biased to the US stand during the heated discussions of the tracks especially in the Palestinian issue.
It is clear that the Syrian stand drew a ceiling for preventing the Arab relations with Israel if the conference’s results will be zero on the Palestinian track due to the Israeli intransigence.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The first day of the presidential vacuum in Lebanon inaugurates a new stage of the political constitutional crisis while the mechanisms discussed by the Arab and international delegates with the Lebanese leaders under the title of directing the quiet vacuum entered the field of political test.
Some press readings of the Lebanese event said that the beginning of international-regional understandings started to emerge especially on the track of the relations among the US, Syria and Iran. Therefore, the press circles look at what happens in Lebanon as part of the climate imposed by the shift in the US policy from the methodology of wars and invasion to solving all the area’s files through negotiations.
The loyalists have more than one discourse. Walid Jumblatt seems ready to accept the compromise while the Lebanese Forces and Karnet Shahwan group chose political escalation and this was considered as a reaction to the central role of general Aoun as a Christian reference that participate in reshaping the authority.
Communications continue despite the vacuum and everybody looks forward to the new parliamentary session on November 30 but the oppositions watch al-Siniora and his ruling team in the light of the pledges he announced that his work will be limited to administering the affairs without assuming the president’s authorities.
The Lebanese street poses many questions on what may happen if the attempt to choose a president fail, while the only factor of stability is the army which started tightened measures to preserve stability. The people think that the army’s leadership is the only guarantee and the events may oblige it to translate the practical content of president’s Lahoud’s declaration before leaving Baabda palace.

Arab and International Press

Al-Watan said in its editorial that we should not belittle the importance of Annapolis conference although Israel will try to take without giving anything in return. This is a historic conference and should succeed because its failure will mean the failure of any future peace negotiations.
Yousef al-Kwelet said in an article published in Al-Riyadh paper that everybody in Lebanon claims that he is the leader but when we read the social and political map of the country we find that each side of the leaders is an ambassador for a foreign power.
The Syrian paper Tichrin said in its editorial that the presidential merit is not only related to electing a Lebanese president. It is an Arab merit and the Arabs should seriously look at it.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that all what the US wants from Annapolis conference is providing an Arab cover from the states that have no relations with Israel but it is certain that the meeting will not achieve a breakthrough on the Palestinian track.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the term of Lahoud led to a republic without a president and security and political guarantees govern the transitional period.
As-Safir said Lebanon is without a head under the organized vacuum pointing out that the republic is divided.
Ad-Diyar said the Christians are marginalized, the French guarantees to the patriarch Sfeir fell and the republic is in danger.

Television Stations News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said Lebanon became a republic without a president in the shadow of an illegal government. The NTV said the Lebanese politicians did not work to elect a free president that refuses the Israeli occupation. The NBN said the representatives of the Lebanese Forces insist on violating the constitution. The OTV said representative al-Hariri conveyed to Bkerki a pledge to limit the conduct of al-Siniora’s government to administering affairs. The LBC said the US confirmed that it included the Golan Heights in Annapolis’ agenda and this makes Syria’s participation probable. The Future said Egyptian president Mubarak made a phone call with al-Siniora and stressed supporting the democratic system and the constitutional rules.

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.