Lebanon Now MP Oqab Saqr has accused Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun of relying on militias on the street to achieve his political objectives.
Saqr told the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah daily in an interview published on Friday that Aoun’s latest statements were “very dangerous.” They give an impression that Premier-designate Najib Miqati is his “employee.”Full Story
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea expressed fear over carrying out deals under the table to form the new government and said that caretaker PM Saad Hariri might drop the agenda of the March 14 forces, a WikiLeaks cable published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday said.
The cable dated May 15, 2008 said that the LF leader described the caretaker PM’s words as “nonsense” and said that Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat is “scared” so they’re seeking a way out.Full Story
In a WikiLeaks cable dated May 24, 2008, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri seemed defeated, distressed and still indecisive about announcing his candidacy for the premiership.
Hariri complained how the international community was ignoring Hizbullah’s ability to take control of most of Beirut in May 7, 2008.Full Story
Lebanese army officers who were on training programs in Syria have returned to Lebanon upon the request of the Syrian authorities, al-Liwaa daily reported on Friday.
The newspaper said several agreements signed between the Lebanese and Syrian armies stress on the exchange of expertise and attending training courses.Full Story
Premier-designate Najib Miqati has for now shelved efforts to form a de facto government and vowed to give the cabinet formation process more time after talks with Speaker Nabih Berri, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat and other mediators.
As part of intensified efforts to end the row between Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun and President Michel Suleiman over the interior ministry portfolio, Miqati met Thursday night with Berri, Jumblat, the speaker’s advisor MP Ali Hassan Khalil, and Hussein Khalil, a political aide to Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.Full Story
Hizbullah on Thursday condemned the arrest of Sheikh Mohammed Ali al-Mahfouz, secretary-general of Bahrain’s Islamic Action Society, describing it as part of “an unjust arrest campaign conducted by the Bahraini authorities against national, religious, medical and professional figures in Bahrain.”
“These continuous arrests are part of an oppressive crackdown … that includes the burning of Korans and the desecration of mosques and (Muslim) scholars’ tombs,” the party said in a statement.Full Story
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Thursday returned to Beirut from the Vatican, after participating in the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II on Sunday.
Flanked by President Michel Suleiman’s representative, caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud, al-Rahi told reporters at the Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport that the minister’s latest decision to refrain from participation in the new cabinet reflected his “culture of sacrifice and giving,” lauding Baroud for “putting public welfare above all private interests.”Full Story
U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams stressed after holding talks with Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh on Thursday the need to form a new government as soon as possible.
He said that the new Cabinet would help resolve pending issues, especially economic and social disputes.Full Story
As Safir reported on Thursday that inmates in Roumieh’s bloc D have started a hunger strike on Wednesday, demanding the speeding up of trials and improvement of the conditions in the prison.
The strike coincided with a sit-in held by the families of the prisoners before the prison on Wednesday, which has been moved to Riad al-Solh square in downtown Beirut where three tents have been set up in solidarity with their sons.Full Story
Progressive Social Party leader MP Walid Jumblat said that he wanted to secretly equip PSP fighters with arms to prepare them for the “second round” of the clashes with Hizbullah after the May 7, 2008, clashes in Beirut, revealed a WikiLeaks cable published exclusively in al-Akhbar newspaper on Thursday.
“We look forward to a second round… we should be prepared… I admit that Hizbullah won the first round,” he told then U.S. Charge d’Affaires Michele Sison during a meeting on May 15, 2008.Full Story