An Event and a Regional Trend

The tour of the US secretary of State Condoleezza Rice focused on the Palestinian issue in the light of the US president Bush’s determination to reach a result on the level of his Palestinian plan before the end of his presidential term instead of the May date which he set during his Middle Eastern tour:
- 1. The available information said Rice stressed in Cairo the necessity of cooperation with Israel and tightening the measures of siege amid Egyptian complaints from Barak’s threats to control the separating line between Gaza Strip and the Egyptian lands,
- 2. Rice tried in Ramallah and Tel Aviv to arrange the return of president Mahmud Abbas to negotiations which he suspended after the chapters of the genocide in Gaza. Rice announced her support for the Israeli operations while Barak stressed that the operations will continue. For his part, Abbas attacked resistance and described it as terrorist and extremist in an immediate response to the wishes of Rice while the resistance men were confronting the Israeli raids.
- 3. The emergence of new information in Israel about the fierceness of the battles that the Israeli army fought in Jabalya camp. Correspondents talked about a new method in fighting the Israeli invading forces.
- 4. Washington’s decisive priority is liberating Israel from the pressure of Palestinian resistance. New press information was released on the conspiracy of Dayton-Dahlan which was ordered by President Bush. It seems that the Israeli holocaust enjoys the support of America and is a direct expression of the failure of all the attempts to get rid of resistance. The press sources also talked about a change in the mood of the Palestinian street in the West Bank and in the Diaspora saying the coming weeks may unveil disturbing surprises to Washington and its agents in the area.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Lebanese discussion focused on a set of internal and regional titles while the US president sent a new sign of intervention in Lebanon by stressing his support for al-Siniora’s government and accusing Syria of obstructing the election of a new president in Lebanon.
- 1. Arab foreign ministers’ council meetings start today. The ministers will discuss the report of the Arab league secretary general on his mission in Lebanon. It is expected that Musa will be authorized again to continue his efforts while the press talked about a secret discussion between a delegation form the loyalists and Musa in Cairo on the margins of the possible compromise with the opposition. The leaked information said that the opposition gave up the idea of arranging a four-sided meeting and the house speaker informed Musa that he anticipates the result of Musa’s discussions with the loyalists before discussing any new ideas. The press also talked about Patriarch Sfier’s rejection of the electoral law of the year 1960.
- 2. The continuity of the popular and political condemnation of the Israeli massacre in Gaza and the US military intervention in Lebanon. It seems the loyalists are confused in this respect despite the statements made by Sameer Gagea and Walid Junblat concerning the Destroyer Cole.
- 3. The press talked about additional US measures which anticipate imminent security deterioration in Lebanon and the state of alertness among the loyal militias inside the squares of Beirut. The press leaks also talk about an imminent Israeli wide scope operation, not an internal conflict.
- 4. The retreat of the Arab climate which uses Lebanon as a title for obstructing the Arab summit and the appearance of some signs which indicate the invitation of Fouad al-Siniora. The press statements reveal that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have lowered the ceiling of conditions in this respect. The press said that the Jordanian king Abdallah differed with the Saudi king on the topic of attending Damascus’s summit, stressing that Jordan’s circumstances do not allow boycotting Syria.
- 5. New financial scandals appeared in the file of the higher committee on relief and stealing the money of those who were harmed by the Israeli war.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said that the Arab current scene rolls towards a bottomless abyss due to the Arab-Arab disputes in the light of the Zionist aggressive policy.
The Financial Times said that the French president Sarkozy exerted condensed pressures on the president of South Africa to convince him to agree on the sanctions on Iran.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Iraq ends today its fifth year of occupation without solving any of its problems.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the bias to the Israeli crimes is a moral crime.
The Washington Post said the US forces attacked southern Somalia last Monday targeting the Qaeda member Nabhan Saleh Ali Nabhan.
The USA Today said Hilary Clinton continues her attack on Barak Obama but he refuted her attacks saying she is a supporter of the Iraq war.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite Station said that President Basahr Al-Assad congratulated Medvedev for winning the Russian presidency in the recent elections.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said the Whit House concentrates on Lebanon. This is manifested in Rice’s tour and Javier Solana’s defense of sending the destroyer Cole.
An-Nahar said talking about new ideas that penetrate the wall of the Lebanese crisis before the Arab foreign ministers’ council’s meeting and Damascus’s summit vanished after it turned out that the issue is linked to a proposal by president Basahr al-Assad to elect a president in return for forming a transitional government.
Ad-Diyar said the Arab foreign ministers will discuss in their meetings the Lebanese file and the last chance will be on their table.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the visit of Rice during July war on Lebanon is similar to her current visit during the aggression on Gaza.
The NTV said Rice did not add touches of support for the prime minister only, but she also sponsored the preparations for holding the Arab foreign ministers’ meetings.
The NBN said the patriarch announced his rejection of the electoral law for the year 1960.
The OTV said the Lebanon crisis resulted from the inability of its external power to launch war and the rejection of the solution by its internal power.
The LBC said the Arab foreign ministers started their meetings not to save the Arab initiative but to save Damascus’s summit.
The Future said the Arab ministers will discuss the agenda of the Arab summit in Damascus.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Damascus

Program: With all the Courage
Minister of communications Marwan Hamadah said the leaks about modifying the Arab initiative through electing a president and forming a transitional government that sponsors parliamentary elections are Syrian ideas which were immediately rejected by the majority.
The journalist Rjeh al-Khouri Syria wants the Arab summit to end its isolation and siege.

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