An Event and a Regional Trend

Bush’ Tour and Reaping Failure

The press focused on the stands that president Bashar a-Assad announced in an interview with the Qatari paper al-Watan and the atmospheres of the talks in Damascus between president Bashar al-Assad and the Turkish premier Erdogan in the aftermath of the Turkish mediation between Syria and Israel.
- 1. Despite the weight of the press coverage of the US press campaign concerning the Israeli raid on Deir Az-Zawr and the US- Israeli allegations about a Syrian nuclear project which were denied by president Bashar a-Assad, the press focused on president Bashar al-Assad’s stands which stressed rejection of secret negotiations with Israel and the legitimacy of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance and its historic role. President Basahr al-Assad also sent messages of openness to Lebanon and the Arab moderate states.
- 2. The US administration officially announced the visit of President Bush to the area which does not include a joint meeting with the Palestinian president and the Israeli prime minister. It is limited to separate visits to Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Bush will meet in Egypt the Palestinian president and the Jordanian king. The experts said this agenda reflects a frank confession of a big political failure for the secretary of state Rice and the national Security Council in getting rid of the Palestinian resistance through arranging Annapolis conference and preventing Damascus’s Arab summit.
- 3. The Zionist holocaust continues in Gaza where Israel killed 8 martyrs including a mother and her 4 children. Resistant men retaliated against the occupation army. On the other hand, discussion continues in Israel on negotiations with Hamas or invading Gaza after the celebrations on the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Israel.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Dialogue and the Conditioned Response

The loyalists’ meeting yesterday authorized Saad al-Hariri to negotiate the house speaker. Signs of change appeared in some public political stands, which refer to the possibility of achieving a breakthrough in the crisis in accordance with the house speaker’s initiative. Some describe the Lebanese reality as governed with lowering the political ceilings and therefore they do not rule out the possibility of holding the parliamentary session on September 13.
- 1. The loyalists’ sources explain the developments of the stand through stressing the impossibility of rejecting the dialogue in principle. They say that authorizing Saad Hariri aims at confirming what he confirmed before after his the meeting with the representative Walid Jumblatt on setting conditions for holding the electoral session in response to the call for dialogue.
- 2. The condition of holding the electoral session without conditions dominated the discourse of the loyalists’ speeches while Jumblatt’s stand corresponded to the atmospheres of his allies and their political stand. This pushed the opposition’s sources to wonder about the seriousness of his previous statements saying this aims at turning around Berri’s initiative and emptying of its content without belittling the borders of Jumblatt’s approach to the logic of compromise instead of obstructing it like Samir Geagea.
- 3. The opposition sources wondered about the nature of representation and its level and the legitimacy of the call of representative Michel al-Murr and President Amine Gemayel after the changes in their representational and political reality. Gemayel failed in the elections in al-Matn and al-Murr left the bloc that gave him representational weight on the popular level. The sources added that the rules set by the house speaker on the eve of the first conference on dialogue no longer apply to the two.
- 4. The regional and international forces that support the loyalists do not encourage the progress of dialogue. The recent statement of the Saudi foreign minister raised the concern of the Lebanese especially because he called for internationalizing the crisis and described the forces that interfere in Lebanon as friendly although they serve the Israeli and US priorities.
- 5. The stands of president Bashar al-Assad’s interview concerning the Lebanese condition caused relief in a number of circles and the press described them as positive on the level of the topic of relations between the two countries and on the level of president Bashar’s al-Assad’s remarks about changes in the stand of some Lebanese sides. Some analysts wondered about the ability of the loyalists to take a new opportunity to move towards a compromise which starts off from disengagement with the US project on the level of responding to the opposition and the relations with Syria.
- 6. The economic crisis continues with the approach of the anticipated date of the workers’ strike. The press also talked about the soaring prices of commodities.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that the Arabs seem on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Israel more inclined to offer concessions.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial who hears the debate in Israel on the Golan think the Heights are on the edge of returning to their motherland Syria.
Vladimir Savoy said in an article that the crisis that the UN is facing is clear in the light of the US attempt to replace it with international alliances.
The British paper The Observer said the military wing of Hezbollah prepares itself for a possible war with Israel.
The Syria daily Tichrin said the Israeli occupation forces target Palestinian civilians with missiles.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

The Syrian satellite Station
A political forum on the US policy and its reflections in the area Professor of political sciences at Cairo University Hasan Nafah said there is no US wish for calming down.
Director of the Arab dialogue center in Washington Subhi Gandour said Annapolis conference is a fiasco.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said Israel continues killing children in Gaza while the world is biased and silent.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the majority forces settled their stand towards the house speaker’s call and decided to return to the dialogue sessions before the date of the electoral session.
As-Safir said the loyal forces withdrew the opposition’s authorization of the house speaker through authorizing the representative Saad al-Hariri to start dialogue with the house speaker.
Al-Akhbar said leader of the national liberal trend Michel Aoun refuses to give up the ceiling which he set as a demands for the opposition.
Ad-Diyar quoted informed sources as saying that the house speaker continues his communications to start the call for dialogue.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said Saudi Arabia revealed why it did not set a date for the house speaker Berri’s visit and repeated the loyalists’ demand to elect the president first and then to discuss the government and the elections law.
The NTV said the specter of the representative Saad al-Hariri was observed around Ain Attineh palace.
The NBN said the recent stand of Walid Jumblatt and his call for reaching a compromise reflect a tendency for dialogue.
The OTV said Saad al-Hariri contradicted himself yesterday when he stressed that his priority is electing the president and then agreeing on the government and the elections law.
The LBC wondered if the coming parliamentary session will be the last.
The Future said the signs that accompanied the movement of communications revealed that many obstacles were eliminated.

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.