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Hezbollah’s position was greatest obstacle to mediation – Turkish sources | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The scene in Lebanon is still unclear after Druze MP Walid Jumblatt, and his Progressive Socialist Party threw their support behind “Syria and the resistance.” A last-minute agreement could still be reached between the Lebanese parties that would ensure a national unity government in Lebanon, rather than a government made up of one colour or party, which is something that many people would prefer to avoid.

A prominent Turkish source informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the announcement of the end of the Turkish – Qatari mediation attempts does not mean that Ankara will stop its efforts in this regard. The source also clarified that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu left Lebanon for Istanbul due to a prior engagement, and that he is set to return to Beirut in order to monitor the “details” of the Lebanese file. The Turkish source added that “ideas are currently being circulated within the Turkish Foreign Ministry [with regards to Lebanon]” and that these ideas will be revealed to the relevant parties in due course. The source added that Turkey is in direct communication with the countries involved in the Lebanese file, including Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, as well as the USA.

The senior Turkish source also stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that “stability is a very important factor for Lebanon” warning against any negative developments in this regard, particularly during this critical period, “as this could lead to serious complications, not just for Lebanon, but for the region as a whole.”

The source added that Turkey has good relations with Syria, and that “the Syrians listen to us very well.” The Turkish source also made clear that Ankara had been prevented from achieving “positive and immediate results” due to complications. The source stressed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to be concerned with bridging the gap between the Lebanese leaders, and that he had been supportive of the “Saudi – Syrian” efforts in this regard. The Turkish source told Asharq Al-Awsat that after Saudi Arabia announced it was halting its efforts in this regard, Ankara – along with Qatar – sought to “secure communication between the [Lebanese] leaders, however the conservative position of Hezbollah with regards to the return of Prime Minister Saad Hariri was a huge obstacle that was difficult to circumvent, especially as the Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah held an extreme position [with regards to this].”

As for Beirut, the scene returned to uncertainty after MP Walid Jumblatt announced his support for “Syria and the resistance”, which is something that sources within the Progressive Socialist Party confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat was “an announcement that he would vote in support of the March 8 Alliance.”

Ministerial sources also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Lebanese President Michel Suleiman may accept proposals for the formation of a single-party government “in order to make room for the democratic game, after the experience of a unity government failed to achieve results.” The source also told Asharq Al-Awsat that President Suleiman will accept the parliamentary consultation results as being, and that the final say with regards to the acceptance or rejection of a government will reside with them.