An Event and a Regional Trend

The Retreat of the Climate of Obstructing Damascus’s Summit

The preparations for the Arab summit started and the available data refer to the fall of the leaks of some American and Arab circles in the last three months concerning holding an exceptional summit that cancels Damascus’s summit or the success of the pressures that linked the presence of some Arab kings and presidents with forcing Syria to change some of its regional stands and to interfere in Lebanon to reach a compromise that responds to the stand of the Lebanese loyalists and their conditions which are related to limiting understanding to electing a consensus president and forcing the opposition to give up the other items.
Informed Arab sources said the pressures and maneuvers fell one after another in the climate of the US and Israeli failure in Gaza after the massacre which was sponsored by President Bush.
The Egyptian stand in this respect seems less convulsive from the Saudi one because Cairo was pressurized by the US and Israel concerning Gaza’s issue, and for this reason it needs to renew an Arab political formula through the summit to protect it against the pressures and preserve the preliminary support for the Palestinian cause especially after the recent angry protests of the Egyptian street. Meanwhile, the Jordanian stand towards the Palestinian issue needs to keep a float an Arab joint formula in order to contain the Palestinian street which is a source of certain sensitivity in the internal Jordanian conditions since the establishing of the kingdom.
As for Lebanon, the same sources say that the failure of the attempt to explode the situation in Mar Mkhael imposed new calculations in the Arab capitals which discovered the failure of the US plans to tighten the grip around the Syrian role in Lebanon.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Retreat of the Whirlpool of Escalation

The following developments formed the Lebanese political and press scene yesterday:
- 1. The retreat of the sharpness of escalation and the beating of the drums of the civil war by the loyalists who started to justify this stand by saying it aims at mobilizing the masses of February 14. This was expressed in the phone calls made by Saad al-Hariri and Walid Junblat to the house speaker and prince Talal Arslan.
- 2. A condensed movement by the army’s leadership to secure a strong presence on the ground that makes people feel calmed down in the aftermath of the fears raised by the threats of Walid Junblat and Sameer Gagea to explode the security condition.
- 3. Egypt and Saudi Arabia called for calming down and enhancing the opportunities of compromise and the role of the Saudi embassy in receiving messages and convening them between Ain Attineh and Kraitem.
- 4. Issuing the judicial decision concerning the bloody Sunday events and charging officers and soldiers with the murders and indicting 54 citizens for riots.
- 5. Various sources talked about formulating an understanding project proposed by the house speaker. This is nominated to be a starting point for Musa’s new anticipated visit.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that the Zionist entity behaves as if it is a terrorist cell that works publicly.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Israel talks about peace but on the ground it destroys it.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said there are some sides that work to ignite the spark of schism in this critical stage.
The Israeli paper Haaretz said the US administration asked Israel to respond to the Egyptian demand to increase the number of Egyptian soldiers on the borders with Gaza and to agree to hand the Palestinian authority the control over the crossings.
The Guardian said that An American federal judge prevented prince Bandar Bin Sultan to withdraw his assets from the US because the case of BAA Corporation is not settled yet.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian satellite station said that president Bashar al-Assad discussed with Brazilian foreign minister bilateral relations and the peace process.

Radio Stations’ Interviews

Radio Damascus
Program: A Dialogue in Politics
The political analyst Hmaidi al-Abdallah said that the Arab league secretary general met before his recent visit to Lebanon David Welch and met in Beirut charge d’affaires of the American embassy.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said that March 14 forces stopped all the steps for mobilizing their forces and urging them to participate in the gathering in central Beirut.
As-Safir said some Arab diplomatic sources did not rule out reaching a political compromise for the Lebanese file on February 26.
Al-Akhbar said the military judiciary revealed the complications of the bloody Sunday events and indicted a number of officers and soldiers in addition to a number of civilians accused of causing riots.
Ad-Diyar wondered if March 14 forces will commit suicide through their fiery statements.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the militias of February 14 forces appeared in the street declaring the end of the state of the law.
The NBN the case of al-Hariri’s assassination is exploited in the political conflict.
The NBN said the carnival of madness continues and changes a painful occasion into a platform for provocation.
The OTV said some sides use money to mobilize the street.
The LBC said words in Lebanon are no longer useful.
The Future general Michel Aoun expressed fears from changing Thursday gathering into an occasion for causing a schism.

Radio Stations’ Interviews

Al-Nur Radio
Former financial minister Alias Saba said the timing of Walid Junblat’s statements is very dangerous, pointing out that the Americans do not want a compromise in Lebanon now.

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, French, German, and Spanish languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and Spanish.