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Arab League SecGen Calls Meetings with Lebanese Leaders Positive | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa has stated that he is preparing a meeting that brings together both the opposition and loyalists in Lebanon. In a telephone with Asharq Al-Awsat from Beirut yesterday, Musa said the atmospheres was “positive” and added that “all the Lebanese parties are cooperating with the Arab ministerial committee and responding to it.”

Musa, who is in Lebanon at present as the head of an Arab ministerial committee formed by the Arab foreign ministers’ extraordinary meeting last Sunday in Cairo and tasked with dealing with the crisis there and bringing the Lebanese parties’ viewpoints closer, said matters were moving normally and that he held separate meetings with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora, Chamber of Deputies Speaker Nabih Birri, and Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Junblatt, and was having at this moment (timing of the in the afternoon) with Army Commander General Michel Suleiman. He added that “the committee’s meetings continued in Beirut (yesterday) and will continue today.”

Asked if he had met representatives of Hezbollah or members of the opposition, the Arab League Secretary General said he “will be completing the meetings with the various parties one after the other” and pointed out that “everyone is cooperating with the committee.”

Musa had anticipated the Arab committee’s success in its mission in Beirut hours before leaving for the Lebanese capital and told Asharq Al-Awsat that the “committee is bringing to Beirut “antibiotics”, not aspirin (sedative).” He also talked about urgent measures which he said “must be taken” but did not specify them and merely said “there is no way out of the crisis except by implementing the Arab initiative in all its three clauses (presidency, government, and elections law). A consensus of views is inevitable, which might seem to be difficult at present but things might develop in a way that requires all the parties to review their calculations so as to save Lebanon.” Regarding the stand of Gen. Michel Awn who believes the Arab initiative “is just an aspirin” and does not solve the crisis, Musa commented jokingly “the Arab ministerial committee is bringing antibiotics with it.”

Elsewhere, observers of the moves in connection with the Lebanese dossier expressed their belief that electing a president for Lebanon at present would be difficult and told Asharq Al-Awsat that the more realistic action in view of the developments in recent days is to let the army take over the rule in Lebanon. The observers noted that the chances before the Arab intervention were getting narrower, which means that the Lebanese issue would be moved to an international framework if the Arabs failed to solve the crisis within an acceptable and short period of time. They said “this is clear from the reports coming from New York and several major capitals where European and American circlers are preparing to raise the situation in Lebanon before the Security Council.” They added that the Arab initiative “disrupted the escalation of the current crisis for one year and a half, prevented foreign intervention and the imposition of any foreign solutions, and also defused any possible explosions in Lebanon.”