Lebanon News

Lebanon’s Arabic press digest - Sept. 4, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Tuesday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.



Nasrallah’s threats of reaching Galilee annuls [national] defense strategy

With the death toll from the violence in Syria reaching 26,283, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the regime kept to its tune that it is “facing an international conspiracy” and held [Egypt’s] President Mursi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey “responsibility for the bloodshed as a result of these countries funding and arming terrorist groups as well as hosting fighters on their soil.”

Damascus described calls from some sides for preventing the crisis spreading to Lebanon as “political satire.” Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi announced that “a big number of weapons and fighters come from Lebanon and these individuals are transforming the environment in Lebanon to one that is ripe for killers.”

He described “the taking advantage by some in Lebanon and by some states of the presence of the Syrian refugees on their territories and their requesting assistance from the United Nations as shameful.”

“If the Saudi and Qataris don’t want the crisis to spread to Lebanon then let them stop transporting weapons and fighters and funding terrorists in [these countries].”

In Lebanon ... although coming late, a number of unprecedented steps were taken in light of the continuing Syrian violations to its territory. The government, which has dissociated itself from events in Syria, summoned the ambassador to Lebanon in Syria Michel Khouri and requested he issue an urgent message to the Syrian Foreign Ministry and inform it “that Lebanese villages near the Syria-Lebanon border continue to shelled from Syrian positions as well as the negative repercussions that such violations can have on security measures taken by the Lebanese Army to safeguard stability and calm on the border between the two countries, in accordance with the Lebanese authority that is keen to protect Lebanese living near the Syria-Lebanon border and preventing any physical and material losses.”

The step by the government comes after President Michel Sleiman’s complaint on July 23, which was the first of its kind from the Lebanese leader, against Syrian violations of Lebanese territory.

Political sources, speaking to Al-Joumhouria, noted that the message contained no expression of complain but that the “negative repercussions that such violations could have” contains within it a form of complaint.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah considered that “the absolute evil is Israel and we are in the position of defending ourselves, our sovereignty, dignity and will confront a threat with a threat, a threat that is based on facts.”




First meeting between Hariri and Jumblatt since separation

Despite the facts that the domestic scene moved away from the main security and political issues to a unique phenomenon that is the dispute over the new smoking ban in public places, there are political developments that will surface in the next couple of hours. The developments will have new repercussion on the overall political situation.

An-Nahar correspondent in Paris Samir Tueni reported Monday night about a meeting to take place between former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the head of the Progressive Socialist Party Movement MP Walid Jumblatt in the French capital soon.

It would be their first meeting since the collapse of Hariri’s cabinet In January of 2011 and the formation of Najib Mikati's Cabinet which Jumblatt provided the cover for.



Financial and election issue at the forefront ... state decides to arm the military via payments

This week will witness the rise of big domestic issues. Financial and electoral developments will also surface, in correspondence with the heated political and diplomatic tone toward Syria as manifested in the request of Prime Minster Najib Mikati to send an urgent letter to the Syrian authorities via the Lebanese Embassy in Damascus with regards to the Syrian shelling of Lebanese towns.

It is also manifested in the escalatory moves by the March 14 coalition against the Syrian regime which will continue with MP Fouad Siniora's petition to the president, maybe Tuesday, signed by all opposition MPs, asking for the deployment of international forces on the border with Syria as well as cutting diplomatic ties between the two countries and canceling the security agreements between them.





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