Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Information in Lebanon confirms that Saudi Arabia and Syria have intensified their efforts to delay the Hariri tribunal issuing its final decision in conjunction with pressure being exerted by the March 8 Alliance to reach a compromise [with the international tribunal] ahead of the forthcoming indictment.
In this context, Future bloc MP Ammar Houri told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the compromise being cooked up today, and the discussions that are taking place, are confined to one single point and that is what is going to happen following the indictment.” Houri said that “we are trying to reach a certain formula that will help the country avoid violence, discord, and rhetoric that leads to the unknown, following the issuance of the [international tribunal’s] indictment. However there will be no compromise on the date or content of this decision, and there is no possibility of this being raised.”
As for the rumors that the Future bloc will not accept the international tribunal utilizing evidence from Lebanon’s infiltrated communication network, Houri said that “the infiltration of the communication network is something that occurs in all countries, however what was revealed by the Minister of Communication about the manipulation of data must be investigated by the office of the Attorney General as soon as possible. We will not issue any early judgments on the evidence that may be put forward by the international tribunal.”
A Hezbollah source also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “there is a newly emerging Saudi Arabian effort to accelerate the reaching of a compromise [with the international tribunal] before the issuance of this indictment.” The source also revealed that “Washington desires the issuance of the [international tribunal’s] decision before the fifteenth of this month…whilst there is also a French – Saudi effort to delay the issuance of this decision.”
The Hezbollah source also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the compromise that is being cooked up revolves around two main points that it seems that the Future movement are beginning to be convinced of, and these two points are the necessity of the international tribunal’s decision not relying upon the false witnesses or the infiltrated communication network. These two points are part of a deal whose chances of success stand at around 50 percent.”
Meanwhile, Lebanese Minister of State Wael Abu Faour stressed “the necessity of the Arab efforts being exerted by Syria and Saudi Arabia to find a national consensus over the disputed issues being met with local efforts by all parties to reduce congestion and restore the climate of internal dialogue.” He also pointed out that “this [effort] could help in the acceptance of any Arab initiative to protect Lebanon internally from any internal or external dangers.”
For his part, Development and Liberation bloc MP Michel Moussa commented on these external efforts, saying “at one time, things reached a dead end internally, and so this necessitated the worthy initiatives from our friends abroad, especially Syria and Saudi Arabia.” He also pointed out that “rapprochement between the two countries [Syria and Saudi Arabia] gives rise to a good atmosphere that may produce solutions.”
Lebanon First MP Khaled Zahraman apologized for what he described as the country reaching “a state of impasse” and he stressed “the importance of internal dialogue that was lacking in the recent period taking place, which must be accompanied by external dialogue, especially with Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey.”