Conditions in Lebanon move towards deepening conciliation and its tracks especially after the election of president Michel Suleiman, but this should coincide with a strong Arab movement in order to end disputes among Arab states and resume the strong relations among Damascus, Riyadh and Cairo, because they form a factor of power that enhances Arab choices and stands. This becomes clear with the movement started by president Bashar al-Assad. _ The press said that president Bashar al-Assad will visit on mid-June Lebanon and announce from Baabda palace the beginning of diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria.
An Event and a Regional Trend
Iraq and the Project of the US Agreement
The project of the US agreement has attracted the attention of the Iraqi public opinion and ignited the political contests while many political forces and Iraqi leaderships from different trends said it is necessary to hold a referendum on this agreement.
It is to be noted that the internal political spectrum in Iraq completely refuses any agreement that jeopardizes the sovereignty of Iraq and does not fulfill an unconditional troop’s withdrawal. Some other forces expressed reservations about some points, demanding a time ceiling for the presence of the Iraqi forces in Iraq and restricting the scope of the US military and security interventions.
Observers said the Iraqi condition witnesses political polarization that crosses the lines of the previous divisions and that important blocs intersect even with the sides that accept the treaty after modifying it or refusing it and call for a complete Iraqi sovereignty. The available information said that Iraqi political and popular movements will appear against the agreement and may surprise the Americans with its weight and size.
An event and a Lebanese Trend
Work continues to overcome the complexes of forming the new government. The authorized Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora conducts consultations with the opposition and the loyalists in order to abridge the gap between the two sides on the levels of demands and conditions, especially after the increasing demands of the loyalists concerning giving a ministerial position to former president Amine Gemayel and Samir Geagea on the anniversary of the assassination of former premier Rasheed Karame, who was assassinated by Geagea, according to the sentence of the legal council.
On the other hand, the press focused on the exchange of captives between Hizbullah and Israel and the surprises of liberating the captive Naseem Nisr.
The joint statement of the Lebanese and French presidential sources announced the visit of the French president Nicolas Sarkozy to Beirut next Saturday under the title of congratulating the president. The press also focused on president Bashar al-Assad’s speech in Abu Dhabi, which warned from Lebanon’s drowning in a the whirlpool of a new civil war and his declaration about establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries:
1. The German magazine Der Spiegel revealed that Hizbullah and Israel have reached a draft agreement, which includes releasing hundreds of Palestinian captives.
2. Israel officially announced delivering the remains of five Israeli soldiers to their families. It is to be noted that secretary general of Hizbullah announced that the resistance has the remains but Israel denied this. This suggests that what happened on Sunday was a first stage of a complete plan for the process of exchanging the captives and this interprets the happy surprise that Hasan Nasrullah promised.
3. The Israeli circles focus on the results and spiritual gains that the resistance will win in Lebanon and Palestine due to the exchange of captives. Israeli commentators talked about the mistakes of their government, which denied before the existence of the soldiers remains in the battlefield, hailing the wisdom of Hasan Nasrullah and describing him as the first leader in the Middle East in his strength and credibility.
4. A state of concern dominates some loyal circles due to the current changes in the area and the acceleration of the European and French openness to Syria, while some corridors talked about a demand by the loyalists for meditation with Syria to fold the page of their aggressive acts.
5. The extension of the work of the international investigative committee disappointed loyal leaders dreams to employ the international tribunal against Syria and the opposition. The atmosphere of the Security Council does not suggest any possible act, due to the retreat of the domination of the US representative.
6. Press information said president Bashar al-Assad will visit Lebanon to congratulate president Suleiman and announce opening the Syrian embassy in Beirut. The press also said: Syria will invite a number of political leaders, including Michel Aoun, but no official confirmation of the visit is determined yet.
Arab and international Press
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said the Palestinian negotiators are not convinced yet that peace negotiations with Israel are absurd.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial it seems that Doha agreement created an atmosphere for the return of Arab solidarity.
The Syria newspaper Tichrin said Syria started its political movement to activate Arab solidarity.
Satellite Stations’ Interviews
The Syrian satellite station
Program: The circle of the event
Brother of the Syrian captive Sitan Namr al-Wali Dr. Jamal al-Wali said his brother is still resisting the cancer of occupation.
The expert in the Golan affairs Abdul Kareem al-Omar said the anniversary of the resistance and liberation day makes us proud.
Bassam Al-Qintar, brother of the captive Sameer al-Qintar, said the Israeli occupation authorities deprived the captives of medical care.
Syrian minister of state for the Red Crescent affairs Bashar al-Sha’ar said we follow up the health condition of all the captives.
Satellite stations News
The Syrian satellite station said that president Bashar al-Assad and sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nhayan complete their talks on enhancing relations and developments in the area.
Al-Akhbar said the final and compressive plan for exchanging captives between Hizbullah and Israel, which is mediated by the German mediator Gerhard Conradm is ready on the table of the officials in Tel Aviv and it is expected that they will refuse or accept it soon.
The paper said the plan will be implemented in two stages: Israel will hand Hizbullah 4 Lebanese elements and 10 corpses and the remains of an indefinite number of fighters who fell in previous wars with Israel, in addition to detailed maps of the minefields in South Lebanon in return for handing the two soldiers Ehud Goldsafer and Aldad Regev.
Ad-Diyar said consultations continue to form the new government pointing out that president Suleiman insists on the necessity of reforms to benefit from the money of Paris-3 conference.
An-Nahar said it seems that it is difficult to set a date for the formation of the new government due to the existence obstacles.
New Orient News
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.