An Event and a Regional Trend

The overwhelming victory achieved by the party of unified Russia, which is led by Putin, is considered a new starting point in the history of Russia, which entered the third millennium trying to restore its power on the international arena in al fields after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
This victory enabled Putin to become a popular leader, whose project enjoys a wide scope support. Therefore, the power of authorization is a serious referendum on the tendency of the Russians as a people in dealing with the internal issues and foreign policies and this was crowned by Russia’s return to the international equations.
A number of reasons and motivations have put the Russian event at the heart of the Arab and international attention in a time which witnesses continuous complaints from the US unilateral policy in administering the world’s affairs. This new balance may enable the weak countries in the world to face this repression.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

March 14 alliance’s forces announced their readiness to move on the track of modifying the constitution and elect General Michel Suleiman as a president, and considered this double process as a current priority, while the press and political sources anticipate the document that General Oun will announce at the conclusion of his recent consultations.
The statement issued yesterday by the main sides of the loyalists is the first official statement about the nomination of Michel Suleiman for presidency. The press talked about disputes in the ranks of March 14 alliance, whose signs are the size of those who were absent from meeting (35 members) and the nature of the stands and statements issued by the present members which justified accepting what was rejected by them before and through this they prevented reaching an internal compromise under the title of rejecting the nomination of the army’s leader or changing the rejection to modify the constitution into a slogan for the cedar revolution.
A leader from the opposition said the statement aims at achieving three goals:
- 1. Preparing the workshop for modifying the constitution in order to cover the mechanism which may surpass all the previous experiences and require a political and a legal effort to achieve the practical steps with less obstacles or objections in the shadow of the legal condition of al-Siniora government.
- 2. The attempt to curb the opposition’s campaign which aims at achieving a comprehensive national understanding on all the disputed issues in order to reach an approved president, who can achieve the rescue operation through insistence on delaying the discussion of the governments topics and the ministerial statement and the stand towards the resistance and its weapons.
- 3. The real pressure of the loyalists concentrates on the attempt to name a prime minister from the Future Trend and prevent conciliation process proposed by General Aoun, which requires appointing a prime minister from outside he loyalists and the opposition.
The available press information says that discussions in the corridors revolve around the formation of the government and that the Prime Minster will be from outside the loyalists and will be chosen from the list of the approved candidates and that achieving understanding on these topics will identify the timing of the elections.

Arab and International Press

The Israeli paper Ha’aretz said that Israel and the US should start dialogue on ways of confronting the Iranian nuclear program and examine their ability to attack the Iranian nuclear installations and study the scenarios of the eruption of a nuclear crisis between Iran and Israel.
Uri Orbach said in an article published in the Israeli papers that Israel was established not to solve the problem of the Palestinians or the Muslims but to solve the problem of the Jews.
Gadi Taub said in an article published in the Israeli papers that two years after the UN division of the land of Israel into two nation-states, one is Arab and the other is Jewish in the name of self-determination, expanded circles started to reject this division in the name o democracy.
He pointed out that the two-state solution is no longer valid, not because the policy of division is not possible, but also because it is not desired.
Izz Addin al-Darwish said in an article published in the Syrian daily Tichrin that the Arab public opinion is convinced that the US held Annapolis conference in order to secure Arab normalization with Israel.
Al-Bayan paper said in its editorial that the 28th summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council states which starts today in ad-Doha is unique in the history of the council and the area. Its timing is unprecedented and its agenda is heavy and should make decisions that confront the challenges.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: Evening News
Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad said that Annapolis conference will not achieve peaces in the Middle East, because it ignored the rights of the Palestinian people.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said the election of Michel Suleiman waits for an a agreement on the government, pointing out that March 14 forces gave up their previous options and officially nominated Michel Suleiman for presidency.
As-Safir said that there will be a political consensus on electing Michel Suleiman as a president.
An-Nahar said the French president Nicholas Sarkozy made a phone call with the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, while General Aoun will announce today what he called as the Christian invariables.

Television Stations’ in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the dilemma is still the same and the loyalists are searching for something that unifies all of them. The NTV said the March 14 forces nominated Michel Suleiman for presidency and the issue is that of modifying the constitution now. The NBN wondered if the loyalists’ nomination of Michel Suleiman is the result of the fall of the logic of unilateral stands. The OTV said the loyalists need a miracle to color their previous faces. The LBC said it is anticipated that ten representatives from the majority will submit a parliamentary petition that provides for modifying the last item of the constitution in order to elect the army’s leader as a president. The Future quoted the house speaker as saying: let them agree and I am ready to modify the constitution.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: The Week in an Hour
Minister Michel Pharaon said that March 14 forces are unified and all of them support he nomination of Michel Suleiman, adding that the loyalist do not have any aggressive stand against Syria, but Syria stood against the sovereign voices in Lebanon.
Representative Ghazi Zeaiter said the stands of the majority has pushed the country to the vacuum, adding that the opposition does not accept modifying the constitution by the government.
The journalist Johnny Manayyar said that America will only pay for Syria in Lebanon, and this is manifested in nominating Michel Suleiman who forms a guarantee for the Syrian interests.

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.