Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Saudi Arabia is pressuring Saad Hariri to reject the 'tribunal' in return for a Hezbollah promise..."

"Saudi Arabia is adding to the pressure on Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to reject the international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, sources told Haaretz. In return, Hezbollah would guarantee Hariri that it would not harm him. The radical Shi'ite organization would also avoid any overt military activities and Hariri would be allowed to maintain his own security apparatus. The Saudis, considered the Hariri family's patrons, have stepped up pressure on Hariri to convince him to accept the "compromise" planned by Saudi Arabia and Syria that aims to defuse Lebanon's political crisis. The fact that Saudi Arabia has joined Syria in pressuring Hariri suggests that the chances have increased significantly that the prime minister will accept the deal. For the time being, however, the son of the murdered prime minister is refusing to decide. Last week, Hariri denied a report in the Lebanese daily Al Diyar that he had agreed to distance himself from the international tribunal's report "for Lebanon's interests." 
Hariri traveled to New York on Monday to visit Saudi King Abdullah. ... He would have to make a statement in which he expresses his rejection of the tribunal's work. Hariri would apparently be supported by Hezbollah in efforts to disarm Palestinian groups operating outside the refugee camps in the country ...  Pressure by Hezbollah has included death threats on Saad Hariri, whose security has been stepped up, according to reports in Lebanon. Tensions have also been on the rise between Hezbollah and March 14 activists in Beirut. The latter stay away from neighborhoods controlled by Hezbollah, (loool)  and a number of the group's leaders have traveled abroad for "holidays," sources say...."

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