An Event and a Regional Trend

The political realities in Israel shed light on the destiny of Olmert and his government in the light of the movements and communications between Kadima and the labor party. These movements aim at to prepare what correspondents described as a ministerial coup inside the government led by Kadima in collaboration with the minister of defense Barak who directs the negotiations with the Egyptians concerning the truce with Hamas. But Barak did o withdraw his threats to invade Gaza.
- 1. The Israeli stands in Sharm el-Sheik focused on threatening to invade Gaza. Olmert said he will take stricter measures against the resistance and its missiles in Gaza. Sources said Egyptian president Mubarask hopes to achieve the project of the truce during his meeting with Barak
- 2. Palestinian resistance stressed their readiness to accept the truce and threatened to retaliate against any Israeli aggression
- 3. Palestinian press information said that president Mahmud Abbas links his staying in office to the destiny of the political process, which did not any progress due to the Israeli intransigence. The sources added that Abbas is disappointed at Bush’s stands.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Lebanese dialogue in ad-Doha was dominated by waves of optimism and pessimism despite Qatar’s big efforts to help in achieving a breakthrough through reaching an understanding on the unity government and the elections law. The conference avoided the expanded meetings and was limited to private meetings far from lights to facilitate bridging gaps in viewpoints. The press covered the following developments:
- 1. The press quoted a Qatari official source as saying that there is an Arab and international authorization of Qatar to find a compromise. The source added that there are open communications with active capitals that accompany the directing of the dialogue among the loyalists and the opposition. The disputes revolved around the elections’ law and the division of Beirut into three constituencies. Representative of the Tashnaq party said Saad al-Hariri has tried to bargain through the formula of taking what is suitable for him on the expense of the Christian representation.
- 2. The attempts to raise noise concerning Hezbollah’s weaponry have failed. The head of al-Wafa bloc for resistance expressed the atmospheres when he said: We negotiate the whole world in ad-Doha.
- 3. The appearance of the idea of forming a transitional government to direct the parliamentary elections as an alternative to the understanding on the unity government.
- 4. Some anticipate reaching joint intentions declaration that allows setting a second date for dialogue, while others expected a political agreement that allows the elections of the president and forming the unity government.
- 5. The loyal sources threatened to demand sending Arab forces to Lebanon. The opposition retaliated and this pushed Qatar to withdraw the issue. The Qatari sources said there is a US-Saudi, Syrian and Iranian authorization of Qatar to sponsor this conference.
- 6. The loyalists’ campaign on Hezbollah coincided with the US president’s statements, which said that Hezbollah used its weaponry against its people. The loyalists expressed embarrassment concerning the stand of the US president, who insists on burning their cards. Other sources say Washington is disappointed at the loyalists’ militias and al-Siniora’s government, because they did not continue the battles.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that President Bush is inhabited with double standards and this was clear when he called the Arabs to forget the sadness of the past.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said Bush’s administration is the reason of the calamities of the Arabs.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the train of Lebanese dialogue continues its way but with the slowness of the turtle.
Joe Galloway said in an article that the video, which revealed photos of the US army barracks in North Carolina, raised a wave of embarrassment.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said foreign minister Walid al-Mouallem headed for South Africa to convey a message from president Bashar al-Assad to president of South Africa.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said Beirut’s tension moved to Doha pointing out that the majority links the blocking third to al-Hariri’s division of Beirut.
The paper added that the loyalists threaten to demand sending Arab forces to Lebanon
As-Safir said the meetings in Doha revealed that the Qatari side prepared a formula that the two sides agreed on. It focused on enhancing the state’s authority and organizing its relations with all the armed groups.
The paper added that complications came from the elections law and the unity government.
Ad-Diyar said Qatar put all its weight to push Lebanese dialogue forward.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the ruling team obstructed Doha conference.
The NTV said the Lebanese who negotiate each other in Qatar disagree on the elections law.
The NBN said all the leaks about Doha conference are contradictory.
The OTV said Doha meetings reached their apex in the presence of the prince of Qatar who sponsored the meeting between the opposition and loyal representatives.
The LBC said the Qatari intervention on the highest level at Doha meant that the conference reached a deadlock.
The Future said the conditions and counter conditions at Doha conference required the intervention of the prince of Qatar who succeeded in holding a joint conference between the two sides.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

The Week in an Hour
Representative Ali Khalil said the topic of Hezbollah’s weaponry is not included at all in the agenda of Doha conference.
Representative Hashem Qassem said if the majority does not change its mentality nothing will change.
President Ameen Gemayel said what we want is a strong state that embraces all the sides.

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.