Selective foreign interference for a united Lebanon

07Jun07

There are joint French, Saudi and Iranian efforts and, more importantly, domestic Lebanese political efforts,” Shibani said, Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon.=

France Liban Amitie

France and Saudi Arabia are promoting efforts to widen Lebanon’s cabinet to end a protracted crisis pitting the Western-supported government against the Iranian-supported Hezbollah and its allies, political sources and diplomats said on Thursday.

The United States does not seem to have been part of the discussions, at least directly.

But after the U.N. Security Council approved formation of the tribunal last week, Saad al-Hariri, parliamentary majority leader and son of the slain ex-premier, offered an olive branch to the opposition, galvanizing efforts to resolve the crisis.

Political sources said French diplomats suggested to the anti-Syrian majority that it accept the opposition demand for veto power in the cabinet now that the court had been passed (June 10).

Paris wants a smooth run-up to the election of a new president between late September and late November, they said.

The sources said the deal would expand Siniora’s original 24-member government to 30, with the opposition allocated more than 11 seats, the number necessary to block key decisions.



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