Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
01:54 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Last chance for Lebanese to safeguard country
The coffin of former Lebanese finance minister Mohammad Shatah (Chatah) and that of his body guard (behind), are carried out of the Mohammed al-Amin mosque during their funeral in downtown Beirut, on December 29, 2013.(AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO)
The coffin of former Lebanese finance minister Mohammad Shatah (Chatah) and that of his body guard (behind), are carried out of the Mohammed al-Amin mosque during their funeral in downtown Beirut, on December 29, 2013.(AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO)
A+ A-

The foreign diplomatic community in Lebanon has sent its condolences regarding the assassination of Mohammad Shatah, an adviser to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

A member of that community, a Western diplomatic source, told The Daily Star that Shatah’s death was a sign that Lebanon was living through a period where strife much worse than political collapse was looming. He advised that politicians heed President Michel Sleiman’s call for all political parties to convene the National Dialogue and discuss ways to stabilize the security situation during this delicate period.

The source said he believed stability could only be reached in the country if the National Dialogue agenda focused on “saving the state, keeping it away from regional struggles and placing all the parties under the sole authority of the state.” Leaders, he said, should keep talk of disarming Hezbollah off the table until there was a clear end in sight for regional strife, particularly the war in Syria.

“The Lebanese should preserve the status quo because any attempt to stir it would bring ravages worse than those Lebanon is witnessing right now,” the source said. “This is the last chance [for the Lebanese to safeguard their county] and this chance is running out of time.”

“If the hawks in both camps [March 14 and March 8] continue to do all the talking then there will be no doves or hawks left,” he added.

Shatah’s assassination has signaled to the country’s political players that more targeted attacks could follow. Political sources said the tactic of physically eliminating national figures appears to have returned since a spate of political assassinations in the mid-2000s.

In response, March 14 MPs and leaders have boosted security measures around their homes, offices and convoys, the sources said. Their worry is understandable, the sources added, since Shatah was not seen as a vulnerable political figure according to a list circulated by security forces.

As a result of the attack, a minister in the caretaker Cabinet has decided to travel abroad for safety reasons. The minister – who was not identified – fears he could be assassinated to send a message to the senior political figure he follows.

But the same sources were hopeful that the latest assassination might prompt political parties to take initiative and fill the political power vacuum, particularly regarding Cabinet formation. They said Sleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam would be among the first to push for a new Cabinet. Sources close to them have already leaked that the two have a potential Cabinet lineup, which could take form by Jan. 15.

But the negative effects of Shatah’s assassination are grave, and the country may continue to plunge into an ever-worsening security situation that is also unlimited in its geographic scope, sources said. Friday’s attack was the first in Beirut’s Central District since the start of the Syrian war.

The sources feared that civil strife would escalate to multiple regions and further disrupt the political, security and economic situation.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 30, 2013, on page 2.
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Antoine Ghattas Saab
 
 
U.S. to confirm arming opposition in Syria: sources
 
 
Berri to call session to elect president by early May
 
 
Army enjoys full support at home and abroad
 
 
Does Lebanon need a security or economic president?
 
 
At Army conference, look to sidelines
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS