The Kuwaiti mediation Starts Today

Arab circles focus on the current transformations in Iraq and the Arab movement after Damascus’s summit. The Arab arena witnessed the following developments:
- 1. The Kuwaiti prince mediates to solve the disputes between Syria and Saudi Arabia within the framework of the movement, which aims at purifying the Arab relations. Observers said that these endeavors face a serious US complex through the pressures that Bush’s administration exerts to achieve something spectacular during Bush’s anticipated visit to Israel or what is called as signing the declaration of principles between Israel and the Palestinians.
- 2. The intensified atmospheres, which resulted from the US-Israeli military exercises in the area and the threats against Syria and Lebanon, impose themselves in the Arab discussions. The Arab press said president Bashar al-Assad focused on solving Arab disputes and the priority of the struggle with Israel. This will motivate the progress of the Arab endeavors in the shadow of the US failure in the area.
- 3. A new condition in Iraq emerged after the failure of the US-Iraqi forces to eliminate al-Mahdi army. Mugtada al-Sadr called fro the demonstration of the million on the anniversary of the occupation of Baghdad. This will open the door for new developments in Iraq, which will not serve the US policy’s interests.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Musa collects the Data and the House speaker Moves’

Recent developments on the Lebanese arena included the strike of the teachers, who called for increasing their wages. Al-Siniora’s government partially responded to the private sector’s demands and ignored increasing the wages of the workers in the public sector.
Experts said pressure of the economic condition will affect the Lebanese street in the coming stage. Many loyal politicians feel embarrassed due to this crisis while the opposition called for transferring this file to the syndicates.
On the political level, the Lebanese arena has witnessed the following developments:
- 1. The return of the house speaker to Beirut led to expectations about his endeavors to activate dialogue despite some of the loyalists’ call to boycott the dialogue. Walid Junblat expressed a positive stand in this respect and the March 14 forces will announce their stand when representative Saad al-Hariri returns.
- 2. Minister Suleiman Franjiyeh announced the priority of the elections law in the basket of understandings. He stressed the principle of not electing a president after August 28, the date in which general Suleiman will leave his office as leader of the army.
- 3. The opposition said Saud al-Faisal’s statements have ignored that the loyalists obstructed the solutions.
- 4. Press information said Amer Musa has authorized his assistant Hisham Yusef to continue communications with the Arab sides to discuss the topic of the government, which became the first item in the negotiations after the Arab summit’s decision concerning the Arab initiative.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that the wave of the soaring prices of agricultural products invades the world.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Israel beats again the drums of war in the area.
Al-Riyadh said the NATO witnesses heated contest concerning Afghanistan, the Balkans and the relations with Georgia and Ukraine.
The Qatari paper al-Rayah said violent demonstrations took place in Yemen demanding job opportunities, and ending poverty and unemployment.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the foreigners in the kingdom are strangers.
Israeli deputy premier denied the possibility of holding peace negotiations with Syria pointing out that Syria does not want to end its alliance with Iran.

Satellite Stations Interviews

Al-Arabiya
Program: Bel Arabi
Lebanese writer Sarkes Naoum said the Lebanese and Arab public opinion has doubts in Syria concerning the assassination of al-Hariri.
The legal adviser of the UN Secretary General Nicolas Michel said the Lebanese government demanded the formation of the international tribunal during a session that the house speaker called for in the summer of 2006.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian Satellite station said that president Bashar al-Assad discussed with the delegation of the Chinese communist party enhancing relations between the two countries.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said the social and economic demands unified the Lebanese people.
Al-Akhbar said the house speaker intends to launch a dialogue in order to support the Arab initiative pointing out that the loyalists and the opposition agree on the government of 10+10+10.
As-Safir said Syria called Saudi Arabia to exert common efforts to encourage each Lebanese side to take a step towards the other.
An-Nahar said the internal communications moved on two tracks: the continuity of the Arab league’s endeavors and the house speaker’s call for dialogue.

Television Stations News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said schoolteachers live in a miserable condition in the shadow of the current Lebanese government.
The NTV said the forces of March 14 and March 8 participated in the educational strike.
The NBN said the leader of the army announced that he is sick of the gravitation concerning his nomination as a consensus candidate.
The OTV said the economic condition of the citizens deteriorates.
The LBC said general Suleiman’s declaration concerning his resignation shocked the local and regional political circles.
The Future said that leader of the army turned the table upside down.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Former minister Suleiman Franjiyeh held Israel and America responsible for any assassination that takes place in Lebanon.

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.