Libanon-Mosaik / Lebanon Mosaic 1

Libanon in den Medien: Saudi-Arabien eröffnet im Libanon eine neue Front gegen Iran und stürzt das Land ins Chaos / In Lebanon, Saudi Arabia opens a new front against Iran
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

cp2 Hariris „Rücktritt“ / Hariri’s „withdrawal“

cp3 Kriegserklärung? / Declaration of war?

cp 4 Wird Libanon explodieren? / Will Lebanon explode?

cp5 Israel

cp6 USA

cp7 Propaganda

cp8 Mehr / More

Klassifizierung / Classification

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(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

(** B P)

Saad Hariris Auszug aus dem Libanon: Weg frei für einen neuen Krieg im Nahen Osten

Der Königsmord ist angerichtet. Libanons Premier Saad Hariri schmiss am 4. November 2017 seinen Regierungsjob, und zwar auf Druck des saudischen Königreichs. Dort ist gerade ein Putsch im Gange: Prinzen unter Arrest, Prinzen erschossen, Prinzen verunglückt. Für Saad Hariri wird besonders der Korruptionsfall Al-Tuwaijri zum Verhängnis. Zusätzliches Salz in der Wunde: Der Islamische Staat (IS), Geschöpf der Saudis, wurde zerschlagen, die Post-IS-Phase ist angebrochen. Riad brennt auf Rache an den Siegern Iran und Hisbollah. Saad Hariri, Inhaber eines saudischen und libanesischen Passes, geriet nun als nützlicher Idiot zwischen die Fronten.

Libanons abgedankter Premierminister Saad Hariri ist wahrhaftig kein Heiliger. Ob der 47-jährige überhaupt noch Milliardär ist, das weiß niemand. Fest steht jedoch: Der Geschäftsmann hat sich in desaströse Geschäfte verwickelt und ist mitverantwortlich für den Tod Tausender Syrer sowie die kolossale Verwüstung des Levante-Staates. Hariri, der einen großen politischen Mitleidsvorschuss genießt wegen des brutalen Bombenanschlages auf seinen Vater Rafik am Valentinstag 2005 in Beirut, spielt in den politischen Intrigen an der Levante eine zentrale Rolle.

Saad Hariri, der sich selbst als politischen Gegner der Hisbollah ausweist, stand seit Ende 2016 als Ministerpräsident einer Regierung der nationalen Einheit des Libanon unter Präsident Michel Aoun vor. Das Beiruter Parlament ist indes tief gespalten zwischen dem von den USA und Saudi-Arabien unterstützten Lager um Hariri und dem von der schiitischen Hisbollah angeführten Block, der vom Iran und Syrien unterstützt wird. Die politischen Gräben zwischen beiden Lagern haben sich durch den Konflikt im benachbarten Syrien noch weiter vertieft.

Was bedeutet das Verhalten des Politikers und Unternehmers Saad Hariri für die Zukunft des Libanon? Noch im Sommer 2017 hatte er am Rande eines USA-Besuches in einem Interview erklärt, dass er als Ministerpräsident des Libanon verpflichtet sei, für Sicherheit und Stabilität im Land zu sorgen. Wenn er nicht mit allen Seiten kooperiere, werde es dem Libanon wie Syrien ergehen, und er werde zerfallen. Daher arbeite er in seinem Kabinett auch mit der Hisbollah zusammen.

Wider besseren Wissens gab er mit seinem Rücktritt nun sein eigenes Land zum Abschuss frei.

https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/60484-saad-hariris-auszug-aus-libanon/

(** B P)

Der gewollte Krieg: Wie Saudi-Arabien den Mittleren Osten destabilisiert.

Als in Saudi Arabien in der Nacht vom 4. auf den 5. November die „Nacht der langen Messer“ ausgerufen wurde, glaubte man zunächst an den Amoklauf eines Tyrannen, der an vielen Fronten verliert: Der absolutistische Herrscher des Landes eignete sich – unter dem sinnigen Vorwand der „Korruption“ – das Eigentum von einigen der reichsten Personen des Landes an und zudem wurden mindestens zwei seiner möglichen Gegner getötet. Der Syrien-Stellvertreterkrieg ist so gut wie beendet. Die Aggressionen gegen Katar verpuffen. Der Krieg gegen eines der ärmsten Länder der Region, den Jemen, findet sich trotz Zerbombung der Infrastruktur, Sanktionen und Blockaden in einer Sackgasse. Die Aggression gegen den Iran isoliert das Land in keiner Weise. Und nun erklärt Saudi-Arabien dem Libanon praktisch den Krieg und „säubert“ im Inneren jeden möglichen Widerstand? Aber was völlig irrational erscheint, ist sorgfältig geplant und abgesprochen mit den USA und Israel. Und Deutschland ist über Waffenlieferungen und die NATO mit dabei. Krieg gegen den Libanon

Trotzdem erklärte der saudische Minister Thamer al-Sabhan dem Libanon indirekt den Krieg, indem er behauptete, dass der Libanon Saudi-Arabien den Krieg erklärt hätte.

„‘Wir werden die Regierung des Libanon als eine Regierung behandeln, die Saudi-Arabien den Krieg erklärt hat, wegen der Aggression der Hisbollah‘, sagte er als Antwort auf die kürzlich gefällten Entscheidungen der libanesischen Regierung.“

Die betreffenden Entscheidungen der Regierung des Libanon waren maßgeblich Ergebnis der Gespräche der Regierung mit dem Iran und der in Syrien im Krieg gegen die Terroristen so erfolgreichen Hisbollah. Dadurch war die Hisbollah, mit der auch der Präsident des Landes sympathisiert, aufgewertet worden, und der Iran vom Premierminister zu Sondierungsgesprächen eingeladen worden. Der Druck Saudi-Arabiens soll einerseits erreichen, dass die Hisbollah aus der Regierung des Libanons ausgeschlossen wird, und andererseits die Legitimation erzeugen, insbesondere in der arabischen Welt, für Militäraktionen Israels gegen die Hisbollah. Gleichzeitig soll verhindert werden, dass die Reste der von Saudi-Arabien kontrollierten Terroristeneinheiten in Syrien, die nun wohl gegen den Libanon ziehen sollen, von der internationalen Gemeinschaft angegriffen werden.

https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/der-gewollte-krieg

(* B P)

Drohende Eskalation im Libanon: "Saudi-Arabien nimmt strategisch gegen den Iran Stellung"

Die Sorge vor einem neuen Konflikt im Libanon wächst derzeit. Nahostexperte Heiko Wimmen sieht im Augenblick allerdings keine Gefahr für einen Krieg. Er vermute eher, dass Saudi-Arabien einen Schauplatz suche, um Muskeln zu zeigen, sagte er im Dlf. Es gehe darum, den iranischen Einfluss einzudämmen.

Heiko Wimmen im Gespräch mit Stephanie Rohde

Rohde: Saudi-Arabien hat ja in Syrien jahrelang sunnitisch-islamistische Rebellen unterstützt, um Assad zu stürzen, das kann man zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt als gescheitert erklären. Sucht Saudi-Arabien jetzt ganz gezielt einen neuen Stellvertreterkrieg im Libanon?

Wimmen: Zumindest einen anderen Schauplatz, wo man zeigen kann oder wo der Kronprinz zeigen kann, dass er als Führungspersönlichkeit sozusagen den Ton angibt, dass er strategisch gegen Iran Stellung nimmt und damit dann natürlich sein eigenes Publikum zu Hause hinter sich scharrt. Sie haben Syrien erwähnt als einen Ort, wo die Saudis gescheitert sind, Jemen – wir hatten gerade darüber gesprochen über Jemen – ist ein zweiter Ort. Dieser Krieg im Jemen, der nun schon mehr als zwei Jahre andauert, hat sich für Saudi-Arabien ebenfalls als eine sehr, sehr kostspielige Niederlage oder ein sehr kostspieliges Abenteuer erwiesen, und da ist Mohammed bin Salman ganz klar derjenige, der das auf seine Verantwortung hin vorangetrieben hat. Deswegen liegt es nahe, dass man jetzt einen anderen Schauplatz sucht, wo man meint, vielleicht da mit besseren Aussichten Muskeln zeigen zu können, und Libanon bietet sich an.

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/drohende-eskalation-im-libanon-saudi-arabien-nimmt.694.de.html?dram:article_id=400403

(* B P)

Iran, Saudi-Arabien, Israel: Wie drei Mächte um den Libanon streiten – und was bei einer Eskalation droht

Im Libanon droht ein neuer Stellvertreterkrieg zwischen Saudi-Arabien und dem Iran

Die HuffPost beantwortet die 5 wichtigsten Fragen über den Konflikt

Der Libanon ist seit Jahren ein Land auf der Kippe. Mehrere Bürgerkriege, instabile Regierungen, der große Einfluss der schiitischen Hisbollah-Miliz – und zuletzt die massive Flüchtlingskrise, während der mehr als eine Millionen Syrer in das kleine Mittelmeerland strömten.

Jetzt droht dem Libanon wieder einmal eine gewaltige Eskalation. Der Rücktritt des Ministerpräsidenten Saad Hariri am vergangenen Wochenende hat einen Kampf um die Machtverhältnisse in der Region neu eröffnet.

Einen Kampf, in dem neben Saudi-Arabien und dem Iran auch Israel mitzumischen scheint.

Wir haben die 5 derzeit brennendsten Fragen zum Libanon-Konflikt beantwortet.

  1. Wieso ist Hariri zurückgetreten?
  2. Was plant Saudi-Arabien?
  3. Was will der Iran?
  4. Wieso mischt sich Israel ein?
  5. Droht nun ein Krieg?

http://www.huffingtonpost.de/2017/11/11/libanon-krise_n_18529350.html

(* B P)

How Saudi Arabia could start World War 3 as it steps up furious rhetoric with Iran

FORGET Kim Jong-un: Saudi Arabia could be the country to start World War 3 as its brash crown prince escalates a long-running feud with Iran.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/878381/saudi-arabia-news-world-war-3-iran-lebanon-yemen-crown-prince

My comment: The Express is no serious newspaper, really. This link here is just for the headline. Unfortunaltely, here the Express hits the spot. And, for sure, the US is the one who would turn a regional conflict into a world-wide one. Wilhelm Trump III. 103 years after his great predescessor Wilhelm II.

Oh, the Express was not alone and gets support from a totally different political corner:

(* B P)

Muhammad Bin-Salman’s Purge in Saudi Arabia is Prelude to Something Bigger

Our region stands on the brink of war. We should not let small details — such as the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s resignation or the detention of princes and former ministers in Saudi Arabia — divert us from the big picture and the real developments taking place behind the scenes. The really dangerous phase is the one that will follow Crown Prince Muhammad Bin-Salman’s purge on the domestic Saudi front. It may be the precursor to scenarios for a regional war that could, without exaggeration, end up being the most devastating in its modern history.

All that is currently happening is part of a carefully planned and crafted scheme, and the prelude to a sectarian war waged in ‘Arab nationalist’ guise against the growing power of ‘Shia’ Iran and its surrogates in Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq with American, regional and Israeli backing.

The old Saudi Arabia is no more. Wahhabism is breathing its last, has been all but buried and is in the process of becoming history. A fourth Saudi state, dressed in the garb of modernity and based on different alliances, is being born.

When its would-be founder and man of the moment, Muhammad Bin-Salman, accuses Iran of mounting a ‘direct military attack that may amount to an act of war’ against his country by allegedly supplying missiles to factions in Yemen, and his stance is endorsed and supported by the US, it is clear that a new American-led alliance is taking shape in the region.

Muhammad Bin-Salman’s domestic purge, including the detention of 11 princes and scores of businessmen and former officials under the banner of fighting corruption, is only a first phase. It seems to have proceeded smoothly so far, without encountering any serious obstacles.

The man now has now brought the four major pillars of state power – the economy, the security and military forces, the media and the religious establishment (both the official Council of Senior Ulema and the unofficial ‘awakening’ clerics) — totally under his control.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/11/11/muhammd-bin-salmans-purge-saudi-arabia-prelude-something-bigger/

and

(* B P)

The Middle East Is Nearing an Explosion

Lebanon has long been a mirror for the broader Middle East. The region’s more powerful actors use it, variously, as a venue for their proxy wars, an arena in which to play out the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a testing ground for periodic bouts of Saudi-Iranian coexistence. It’s where the region wages its wars and brokers its temporary truces. This past week, like in so many others, the Middle East has not been kind to Lebanon.

All three developments point in a similar direction: that of an increasingly emboldened and single-minded Saudi leadership eager to work with the U.S. to counter an Iranian threat whose scale it believes was made all the starker by the day’s Yemen-related events.

Lebanon and the region arguably have seen all this before; a leadership vacuum in the context of rising tensions is nothing new. What is new, however, is an unusually apprehensive Israel, an unusually assertive and rash Saudi leadership and, of course, an unusual U.S. president.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/lebanon-saudi-iran-hezbollah/545306/ = http://www.arabamerica.com/middle-east-nearing-explosion/

(* B P)

Saudi Arabia has united with Israel against Iran – and a desert storm is brewing

Mass arrests are the Crown Prince’s opening salvo in a fight against corruption and an embrace of moderate Islam

For the Crown Prince’s supporters — vast swathes of the country’s young, eager for progressive social change — his way may be dictatorial but his motives are honourable. The purge represents the opening salvo in a fight against corruption that comes with an embrace of moderate Islam, a determination to relax the strict segregation of the sexes and introduce entertainment venues. Why should ordinary Saudis have sympathy for the arrested if they have, as alleged, been engaged in massive criminal schemes involving bribery and money laundering? When did any of those speak up on behalf of the oppressed masses?

Bin Salman’s power grab is in itself spectacular. But the wider significance of this can only be fully understood in conjunction with events in Israel. The Jewish state is hardly a natural ally for Saudi Arabia, but they have long shared a common enemy: Iran. Both fear the latter is exploiting the opening created by the fall of Isis, and the triumph of the Assad regime in Syria, to dominate the region. Iran and its proxies — whether the Houthi rebels in Yemen or Hezbollah in Lebanon — are in the ascendant, and neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia are going to sit on the sidelines.

So two months after his 32nd birthday, the Crown Prince has established himself as a despot, albeit one hailed by the West as an enlightened visionary. He has tightened a military alliance with Israel, all but declared war on Iran and prepared Lebanon as the first scene of this war — with Hezbollah as the first target.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/11/saudi-arabia-has-united-with-israel-against-iran-and-a-desert-storm-is-brewing/

(* B P)

America’s ‘Allies’ Are Setting Up Another Trap for US in the Middle East

The lack of any real American policy for the region will enable the Saudis and Israelis, who have hegemonistic dreams of their own, to manipulate a casus belli, quite likely starting in Lebanon, where Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri recently resigned his office and fled to Saudi Arabia, claiming that he was fearing for his life due to his resistance to Iran’s influence over his country.

Hariri headed a coalition pulled together in 2016 that included nearly all of Lebanon’s main parties, including Hezbollah. It took office in a political deal that made Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian who has an understanding with Hezbollah, president. The inclusion of Hezbollah and the presence of a friendly Aoun was seen as a victory for Iran.

The Hariri resignation was certainly carried out in collusion with Riyadh, to include the damning of Iranian influence as his reason for leaving.

The United States is clearly privately approving the Israeli and Saudi moves, as Washington, Riyadh and Tel Aviv have all adamantly opposed the existence of the Lebanese coalition dominated by Aoun and Hezbollah’s Nasrullah because of the Hezbollah presence. The next step will be for Israel fighter aircraft to increase their incursions into Lebanese airspace in light of the alleged instability north of the border derived from the claims by Hariri that he was about to be assassinated. The activity would be intended to provoke a Lebanese response that would escalate into an incident that will lead to a major strike to bring the Beirut government down. The ultimate objective is to create a Saudi and Israeli-led grand Sunni alliance, which might be a fantasy, to pushback Iranian influence in the entire region. Lebanon’s Hezbollah, opposed by the Saudis because it is Shi’a and by Israel because of its missile arsenal, would be targeted as the first marker to fall.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/10/america-allies-setting-up-another-trap-for-us-middle-east.html

(* B K P)

A Huthi Missile, a Saudi Purge and a Lebanese Resignation Shake the Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Counter-productive Show of Strength in Lebanon

That Prime Minister Hariri announced his resignation from Riyadh clearly made him look like he was acting on Saudi orders. That impression was reinforced by what had happened both prior to and after that event.

The question is why Riyadh made this decision now.

With the U.S. adopting a harder line against Iran and slapping new sanctions on Hizbollah, Saudi Arabia may have sensed an opportunity to reinforce that trend in order to isolate and pressure its regional rival.

Israel Faces New Risks in Enforcing Its Red Lines against Hizbollah

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/huthi-missile-saudi-purge-and-lebanese-resignation-shake-middle-east

(* A P)

Saudi Arabian purge and Yemeni blockade, frightening turn of events

For Bessma Momani however, the more frightening developments occurred this morning when the Saudis demanded that their citizens in Lebanon return home.

Is Lebanon now part of the vision in terms of not only consolidating power within Saudi Arabia, but also within the region is the big question.

“Trying to get into Lebanon, with all the myriad partners and international vested interests, from the Israelis, to the Iranians to the Syrians, to the western world, you are talking about a whole other ball game: Momani says. “I think this brash young prince is in way over his head.”

Momani is stunned at the potential domino effect of trying “to change the calculus” of the Lebanese government in an attempt to oust the tolerated Hezbollah contingent (with interview in Audio)

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2017/11/09/saudi-arabian-purge-and-yemeni-blockade-frightening-turn-of-events/

cp2 Hariris „Rücktritt“ / Hariri’s „withdrawal“

(** B P)

INTERVIEW WITH RANIA MASRI ON SAUDI ARABIA AND KIDNAPPING OF LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER

Was this all meant to provoke an Israeli military assault on Lebanon?

Hariri’s detention unfolds as Salman and others simultaneously burnish their image in the world press as reformers.

This week on the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, Arab American professor and activist Rania Masri joins the show to unpack and contextualize all that has happened with Saudi Arabia and Lebanon in the past days.

Masri briefly outlines political responses in Lebanon, what the Saudi regime may be seeking to accomplish, and how media is whitewashing the regime by treating the Crown Prince as a “reformer.” She also addresses the blaming of Iran for the escalation in tensions. And, later in the show, she recaps the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency and how the administration has reinforced the agenda of the Saudi regime.

Listen to the interview with Rania Masri by clicking on the above player or by going here.

Masri: Imagine this: our prime minister issues, reads a statement telling us he’s resigning as prime minister, not live, not at a press conference, but in a taped broadcast from a foreign TV station from outside the country. So naturally, the Lebanese President and the Lebanese Speaker of the House responded by saying, look, if you want to resign, you actually need to come to Lebanon.

Seriously, as of yet, the government is saying we cannot either accept nor reject your resignation. We consider it to be just a statement that we believe you read involuntarily and under duress.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah leader] today in his second speech, he stated that the resignation is unconstitutional, illegitimate, and illegal and that the government still holds. The Future Movement, which is Saad Hariri’s political party of whom he is the leader, also stated that they are calling for Saad Hariri to return to Lebanon. Now, Saad Hariri read this resignation letter on Saturday. Today is Friday. He has still not returned to Lebanon.

Numerous, numerous reports, including from his bodyguards that went with him and returned from Lebanon, including from other Saudi sources that we have in the country, have told us that Saad Hariri remains held in involuntary detention by the Saudi government. So it is quite serious actually and the Lebanese government may be thinking about a resolution or a call from the UN Security Council calling for a release of our captive Prime Minister.

In the meantime, just to add another level of surrealism, the Saudi Mohammed bin Salman, the King, their spokesperson, and another Saudi minister stated that Lebanon has declared war on Saudi Arabia. Typically, when a country declares war, it states that it’s declaring war. Here we are told by Saudi Arabia that we have declared on Saudi Arabia ergo Saudi Arabia is now declaring war on Lebanon.

It’s no longer a public secret. It’s quite well known now that Saudi Arabia is in discussion with the Israeli government and Saudi Arabia is encouraging the Israeli government to launch attacks on Lebanon. So the most extreme possibility is there could be a Saudi-Israeli military attack on Lebanon.

So on one extreme, we have this either a Saudi war, a Saudi-Israeli war, another kind of launching of a war against Lebanon. The least option is that there could be financial sanctions or a blockade, similar to what they did on Qatar, could be imposed on Lebanon. I think the Saudi regime underestimates the Lebanese, as they have underestimated the Yemenis and the Syrians and the Iraqis. They seem to be quite caught up in their arrogance to such an extent that they seem to underestimate everybody (with audio)

https://shadowproof.com/2017/11/12/interview-rania-masri-saudi-kidnapped-hariri-lebanese-pm/

(* B P)

What are the Saudis really up to with Lebanese ‘hostage’ Hariri?

Riyadh almost certainly forced the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister. As rumors swirl of his being "held against his will" and a complex Saudi drama plays out, Beirut is impatient to know why

The talk of the town in Beirut is that former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is being “held against his will” by Saudi authorities and prevented from returning home to Lebanon. The bizarre story has gone viral on social media networks and around the cafes of Beirut, having first surfaced last week on the front page of the pro-Hezbollah daily al-Akhbar, which described him as a “hostage.”

This was shortly after Hariri had announced his resignation as prime minister – in Riyadh, rather than Beirut.

The talk of the town in Beirut is that former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is being “held against his will” by Saudi authorities and prevented from returning home to Lebanon. The bizarre story has gone viral on social media networks and around the cafes of Beirut, having first surfaced last week on the front page of the pro-Hezbollah daily al-Akhbar, which described him as a “hostage.”

This was shortly after Hariri had announced his resignation as prime minister – in Riyadh, rather than Beirut – on the very same day that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, arrested 11 powerful princes in a massive crackdown against opponents, critics, and doubters, all under the pretext of “fighting corruption.”

The relationship between the Crown Prince – commonly referred to as MBS – and Hariri was lukewarm, to say the least. For one thing, Mohammad Bin Salman considered the Lebanese leader too soft on Hezbollah.

The general consensus among the Lebanese is that Saad al-Hariri was forced to step down, his resignation speech dictated to him by Saudi officials. After all, the speech went out via al-Arabiya, a popular Saudi channel, rather than on his own Future TV or via Lebanese national television. Sympathies have inevitably been stoked: the streets of Beirut are filled with giant posters saying “We are all Saad al-Hariri.” According to a statement issued by his Future bloc, his return to Lebanon is “necessary.”

Hariri traveled with only two of his bodyguards — one of whom has returned to Beirut aboard the premier’s plane, without his boss.

On Wednesday, US State Department Spokesperson Heath Nauert refused to say anything about whether or not Hariri was under house arrest or where the meeting with him took place, adding to the high drama in Beirut. It is believed that Hariri took part in a ceremony on Saturday welcoming King Salman back from a visit to Medina.

Another story presently making the rounds in Lebanon is that Hariri is being asked to testify against Prince Mutib Bin Abdullah, who is the son of former Saudi King Abdullah and heads the Royal Guard. He was arrested in Mohammad Bin Salman’s “Night of Long Knives” maneuver

http://www.atimes.com/article/saudis-really-lebanese-hostage-hariri/

(* A P)

Hariri indicates possibility of revoking his resignation

Saad al-Hariri, who announced on Nov. 4 from Saudi Arabia that he was quitting as Lebanon’s prime minister, suggested on Sunday he could rescind his resignation.

Speaking from Riyadh in an interview with Future TV, a station affiliated with his political party, Hariri said he planned to return to Lebanon to confirm his resignation in accordance with the constitution. But he also said that if he rescinds his decision to quit, the Hezbollah movement must respect Lebanon’s policy of staying out of regional conflicts.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri-interview/hariri-indicates-possibility-of-revoking-his-resignation-idUSKBN1DC0XK

Comment: “PM Hariri’s residency is being imposed on him, he cannot contact his own family. Any past or future statements by the PM, or anything attributed to him, will be doubted, will not be taken seriously and will not be considered to reflect the PM’s full will”.

https://twitter.com/Ali_Kourani/status/929754343363969026

and

(* A P)

Film: Something very noteworthy happened during the interview. When Hariri spoke of returning to #Lebanon an unknown man showed up in front of him with a paper in his hand that took all Hariri’s attention. I dare to say he even looked scared.

https://twitter.com/YasminWaQahwa/status/929818190955384832 and whole thread beginning here: https://twitter.com/YasminWaQahwa/status/929783816411066368

and some:

It is bluntl clear how Hariri’s resignation was never his idea nor what he wants. Looks broken and tired and says words no leader of his country would speak nor surrender to

https://twitter.com/YasminWaQahwa/status/929789259560701952

So what’s interesting is while Hariri claimed he feared Iran’s influence and thus feared for his life, during the interview he claimed there were no threats by #Iran made against him.

https://twitter.com/YasminWaQahwa/status/929795730914586624

I respectfully disagree with tweeps saying he is tired because he care for Lebanon deeply. Well obviously not so much since he resigned from another country. And he tossed the country in turmoil again, and exposed the country to a potential war with Israel.

https://twitter.com/YasminWaQahwa/status/929809069946363905

(A P)

UK foreign secretary says Hariri should return to Lebanon

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Sunday he hopes Saad al-Hariri, who announced last week from Saudi Arabia that he was resigning as prime minister of Lebanon, returns to Beirut “without further delay”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-politics-lebanon/uk-foreign-secretary-says-hariri-should-return-to-lebanon-idUSKBN1DC0YI

(* A P)

Saudi-Arabien: Rätsel über den zurückgetretenen libanesischen Premier Hariri

Frankreich "glaubt", dass er sich frei bewegen kann. Der Besuch von Präsident Macron in Riad und Dubai bringt jedoch nur ein klares Ergebnis: Den Verkauf von zwei Kriegsschiffen an die Vereinigten Arabischen Staaten

Es ist eine merkwürdige Situation: Der libanesische Präsident Michel Aoun hat erneut die Rückkehr des am vergangenen Samstag zurück getretenen Ministerpräsidenten Saad Hariri gefordert. So lange Hariri ihm nicht im Libanon seinen Rücktritt persönlich erkläre, werde er diesen nicht akzeptieren. Auch seine Partei "Die Zukunftsbewegung" fordert seine Rückkehr - wie auch die anderen politischen Gruppierungen im Libanon, einschließlich der Hizbollah.

Die Situation sei völlig surreal, zitierte der Libanon-Korrespondent der Le Monde gestern aus Geschäftskreisen. Es gebe nur Bruchstücke an Informationen. Die libanesische Publikation al-Akhbar, die der Hizbollah nahesteht, veröffentlichte zum Fall Hariri eine Story, die einer Entführungsgeschichte gleicht. Nachzulesen ist sie auf Englisch im Independent von Robert Fisk, der wie der US-amerikanische Politikprofessor libanesischer Herkunft Abu Khalil behauptet, den Text weitgehend von al-Akhbar übernommen hat.

Demnach habe Hariri seinen Rücktritt und die Aussagen von einem vorbereiteten Script abgelesen und halte sich unfreiwillig in Saudi-Arabien auf. Seine Familie, die in Riad lebt, würde als Druckmittel dienen. Hariri hätte am vergangenen Montag Verabredungen mit dem IWF und der Weltbank gehabt, die er nicht eingehalten habe. All dies spreche dafür, dass Hariri einem Zwang ausgesetzt sei.

Nun sind Fisk und al-Akhbar Quellen, die inoffizielle Informationen übermitteln, und Fisk agiert gerne aktivistisch. Umso gespannter war man also, was der französische Präsident Macron, der einen Überraschungsbesuch in Saudi-Arabien und in den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten unternahm, zum Fall Hariri zu sagen hatte.

https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Saudi-Arabien-Raetsel-ueber-den-zurueckgetretenen-libanesischen-Premier-Hariri-3887846.html

(** A P)

Saad Hariri’s resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems

He certainly did not anticipate what happened to him. Indeed, Hariri had scheduled meetings in Beirut on the following Monday – with the IMF, the World Bank and a series of discussions on water quality improvement; not exactly the action of a man who planned to resign his premiership

When Saad Hariri’s jet touched down at Riyadh on the evening of 3 November, the first thing he saw was a group of Saudi policemen surrounding the plane. When they came aboard, they confiscated his mobile phone and those of his bodyguards. Thus was Lebanon’s prime minister silenced.

It was a dramatic moment in tune with the soap-box drama played out across Saudi Arabia this past week: the house arrest of 11 princes – including the immensely wealthy Alwaleed bin Talal – and four ministers and scores of other former government lackeys, not to mention the freezing of up to 1,700 bank accounts. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s “Night of the Long Knives” did indeed begin at night, only hours after Hariri’s arrival in Riyadh. So what on earth is the crown prince up to?

But back to Hariri. On Friday 3 November, he was in a cabinet meeting in Beirut. Then he received a call, asking him to see King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Hariri, who like his assassinated father Rafiq, holds Saudi as well as Lebanese citizenship, set off at once. You do not turn down a king, even if you saw him a few days’ earlier, as Hariri had. And especially when the kingdom owes Hariri’s “Oger” company as much as $9bn, for such is the commonly rumoured state of affairs in what we now call “cash-strapped Saudi Arabia”.

But more extraordinary matters were to come.

I should add, of course, that Hariri’s wife and family are in Riyadh, so even if he did return to Beirut, there would be hostages left behind.

Of course, the real story is just what is going on in Saudi Arabia itself, for the crown prince has broken forever the great compromise that exists in the kingdom

Lebanon is always going through the greatest crisis since its last greatest crisis. But this time, it’s for real – by Robert Fisk

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/lebanon-prime-minister-saad-hariri-resignation-not-all-seems-quits-resigns-surprise-saudi-arabia-a8045636.html

(** A P)

Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri

From the moment Saad al-Hariri’s plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday Nov. 3, he was in for a surprise.

There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as prime minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel.

The move thrust Lebanon back to the forefront of a struggle that is reshaping the Middle East, between the conservative Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite revolutionary Iran.

Sources close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia has concluded that the prime minister - a long-time Saudi ally and son of late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 - had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah.

Multiple Lebanese sources say Riyadh hopes to replace Saad Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon’s top Sunni politician. Bahaa is believed to be in Saudi Arabia and members of the Hariri family have been asked to travel there to pledge allegiance to him, but have refused, the sources say.

“When Hariri’s plane landed in Riyadh, he got the message immediately that something was wrong,” a Hariri source told Reuters. “There was no one was waiting for him.”

Saudi Arabia has dismissed suggestions it forced Hariri to resign and says he is a free man. Saudi officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the circumstances of his arrival, whether his phone had been taken, or whether the Kingdom was planning to replace him with his brother.

Hariri has given no public remarks since he resigned and no indication of when he might return to Lebanon.

Hariri was summoned to the Kingdom to meet Saudi King Salman in a phone call on Thursday night, Nov. 2.

Before departing, he told his officials they would resume their discussions on Monday. He told his media team he would see them at the weekend in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, where he was due to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum.

Hariri went to his Riyadh home. His family made their fortune in Saudi Arabia and have long had properties there. The source close to Hariri said the Lebanese leader received a call from a Saudi protocol official on Saturday morning, who asked him to attend a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He waited for about four hours before being presented with his resignation speech to read on television, the source said.

“From the moment he arrived they (Saudis) showed no respect for the man,” another senior Lebanese political source said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri-exclusive/exclusive-how-saudi-arabia-turned-on-lebanons-hariri-idUSKBN1DB0QL

and abridged

(** A P)

Saudi Arabia reportedly holding ex-Lebanese prime minister against his will

Saudi Arabia is holding Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri against his will, sources close to him said Saturday, as details surrounding his forced resignation last week emerged.

Hariri landed in Riyadh on Nov. 3, a Friday, expecting a routine, cordial visit with the Saudi ruler, King Salman, who had summoned him to the foreign capital the day before.

But it was not to be a normal visit.

When Hariri’s plane landed in Riyadh, he got the message immediately that something was wrong,” a Hariri source told Reuters. “There was no one waiting for him.”

Instead of being greeted on the tarmac by the usual lineup of Saudi princes or ministry officials, the Saudis confiscated his phone on the spot, Lebanese officials said.

Hariri told aides his trip to Riyadh would be quick. He expected later in the weekend to meet the president of Egypt at a Red Sea resort.

But on Saturday, Hariri appeared on Saudi-controlled television and read a prepared resignation statement into the camera.

http://nypost.com/2017/11/11/saudi-arabia-reportedly-holding-ex-lebanese-prime-minister-against-his-will/

(* A P)

Libanons Präsident: Regierungschef Hariri wurde entführt

Hariri hatte am 4. November von Saudi-Arabien aus überraschend seinen Rücktritt erklärt

Der zurückgetretene libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad al-Hariri wurde nach Worten von Staatspräsident Michel Aoun entführt. Das habe Aoun gegenüber ausländischen Botschaftern erklärt und Immunität für Hariri gefordert, erfuhr die Nachrichtenagentur Reuters am Samstag aus Regierungskreisen in Beirut. Aoun, der sich mit führenden libanesischen Politikern und ausländischen Diplomaten beriet, habe den Vorwurf bereits am Freitag erhoben, sagte der Insider.

Bereits kurz nach Hariris Rücktrittserklärung gab es Spekulationen, der lange mit Saudi-Arabien verbündete Regierungschef könne zum Rückzug gezwungen worden sein.

https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000067638875/libanons-praesident-regierungschef-hariri-wurde-entfuehrt

(* A P)

Lebanon Hariri crisis: President Aoun demands Saudi answers

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41955798 b

Remark: Overview.

(* A P)

Lebanon jibes Saudis over the missing PM

Syrian peace means regional and global powers will circle to realign power, says Bassem Mroue

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/middle-east/lebanon-jibes-saudis-over-the-missing-pm-36311366.html

Remark: Overview.

(* A P)

Lebanon Asks Saudi Arabia for Explanation on PM's Absence

https://www.voanews.com/a/lebanon-asks-saudi-arabia-explanation-prime-minister-absence/4111448.html

Remark: Overview

(A P)

Lebanese president calls on Saudi to explain why Hariri has not returned

Lebanon’s president called on Saudi Arabia on Saturday to clarify why Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri could not leave the kingdom and return home.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-aoun/lebanese-president-calls-on-saudi-to-explain-why-hariri-has-not-returned-idUSKBN1DB0ET

(A P)

Lebanese president calls Hariri's situation in Saudi 'mysterious'

Lebanon’s president said on Saturday anything Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has said or may say “does not reflect reality” due to the mystery of his situation since he quit in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia last week.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-aoun-statement/lebanese-president-calls-hariris-situation-in-saudi-mysterious-idUSKBN1DB0II

(A P)

Lebanese president says PM Hariri has been 'kidnapped': official

Lebanon’s president has told foreign ambassadors that the country’s prime minister Saad al-Hariri, who resigned suddenly last week in Saudi Arabia, has been “kidnapped” and must have immunity, a senior Lebanese official told Reuters on Saturday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-aoun-official/lebanese-president-says-pm-hariri-has-been-kidnapped-official-idUSKBN1DB0JC

(* A P)

The Latest: Lebanon minister says probe ‘libelous’ Saudis

The Latest on developments surrounding Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri who resigned from Riyadh last week and the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Lebanon’s Justice Minister has asked the country’s prosecutor general to launch an investigation against two Saudi citizens who appeared on a TV talk show and branded the Lebanese president and parliament speakers as “terrorists.”

7:30 p.m.

Lebanese police officials say a Saudi citizen has gone missing in Lebanon and search operations are ongoing to find him.

7:35 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri should return to the country to make his resignation “official.”

5:30 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says it’s essential that peace is preserved in Lebanon, warning that a new conflict could have “devastating consequences” in the region

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-latest-lebanon-minister-says-probe-libelous-saudis/2017/11/10/1653f29a-c68b-11e7-9922-4151f5ca6168_story.html?utm_term=.f96d6d46e1ed

(* A P)

Beirut: Saudi-Arabien hält Premier Hariri gefangen - Internationaler Druck soll helfen

Hält Saudi-Arabien den zurückgetretenen libanesischen Premierminister Saad Hariri in Riad fest? Diese Ansicht herrscht zumindest innerhalb der libanesischen Regierung. Beirut will in Kooperation mit anderen Staaten die Rückkehr Hariris erzwingen, so ein hochrangiger Regierungsbeamter.

https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/60390-beirut-saudi-arabien-haelt-premier-hariri-gefangen/

(A P)

Film: #Lebanese Future Movement at residence of Lebanese PM alongside his family and news network call for return of Hariri from #Saudi Arabia to resume his role as PM despite Saudi Arabia hosting his announcement of resignation from Lebanese politics, some saying forced. https://twitter.com/AlSuraEnglish/status/928907708362760192

(* A P)

Lebanon's Aoun tells Saudi envoy Hariri must return

President Michel Aoun told Saudi Arabia’s envoy on Friday that Saad al-Hariri must return to Lebanon and the circumstances surrounding his resignation as prime minister while in Saudi Arabia were unacceptable, presidential sources said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/lebanons-aoun-tells-saudi-envoy-hariri-must-return-idUSKBN1DA1J2 and more https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-aoun/lebanons-aoun-concerned-at-hariri-situation-presidential-sources-idUSKBN1DA15V

(A P)

France believes Lebanon's Hariri free of movements in Saudi: foreign minister

France’s foreign minister said on Friday he believed that former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri was not under house arrest in Saudi Arabia and did not have any particular constraints on his movements.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-le-drian/france-believes-lebanons-hariri-free-of-movements-in-saudi-foreign-minister-idUSKBN1DA0SF

My comment: He “believes”, o my goodness. He knows nothing.

(A P)

No evidence Saudi Arabia detaining Hariri: Germany

Germany has no evidence that Saad al-Hariri is being held against his will by Saudi Arabia and believes that the Lebanese prime minister who resigned last week enjoys freedom of movement, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-germany-saudi/no-evidence-saudi-arabia-detaining-hariri-germany-idUSKBN1DA1AI

My comment: ???.

(* A P)

Lebanon believes Hariri held in Saudi, wants foreign pressure: top official

Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as prime minister on Saturday while in Saudi Arabia, is being held by Riyadh, and Beirut plans to work with foreign states to secure his return, a top Lebanese government official said on Thursday.

A second source, a senior politician close to Saudi-allied Hariri, said Saudi Arabia had ordered him to resign and put him under house arrest. A third source familiar with the situation said Saudi Arabia was controlling and limiting his movement.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/lebanon-believes-hariri-held-in-saudi-wants-foreign-pressure-top-official-idUSKBN1D914F and also at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-emirates-saudi/frances-macron-broaches-lebanon-in-surprise-saudi-visit-idUSKBN1D92BD

(* A P)

Hezbollah calls on Saudi Arabia to cease interfering in Lebanon: statement

Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc called on Saudi Arabia on Thursday to stop interfering in Lebanese affairs after Lebanon’s prime minister quit in a weekend broadcast from the kingdom.

Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said the bloc supports the approach of Lebanon’s president, who has refused to decide on whether to accept the shock resignation until Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri returns home.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hezbollah/hezbollah-calls-on-saudi-arabia-to-cease-interfering-in-lebanon-statement-idUSKBN1D91Q3

(A P)

FM Bassil says Lebanese 'decide who represents us'

Lebanon’s foreign minister said on Thursday that the Lebanese people choose whether to remove their representatives, after the prime minister quit in a weekend broadcast from Saudi Arabia.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-foreignminister/fm-bassil-says-lebanese-decide-who-represents-us-idUSKBN1D91T3

(A P)

Lebanon ex-PM meets French, UK, EU, U.S. diplomats in Riyadh: PM's office

Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister last weekend, met the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on Thursday, Hariri’s office said in a statement.

Hariri, who quit in a video broadcast from Saudi Arabia on Saturday but has not yet returned to Lebanon, also met diplomats from the European Union, Britain and United States in the past two days.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri-meeting/lebanon-ex-pm-meets-french-uk-eu-u-s-diplomats-in-riyadh-pms-office-idUSKBN1D91LO

Remark: These “meetings” were quite dubious, as later reports revealed, see above.

cp3 Kriegserklärung? / Declaration of war?

(A P)

Hezbollah says Saudi declares Lebanon war with Hariri detention

Hezbollah’s leader said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and his Iran-backed group, accusing Riyadh of detaining Saad al-Hariri and forcing him to resign as Lebanon’s prime minister to destabilize the country.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/hezbollah-says-saudi-declares-lebanon-war-with-hariri-detention-idUSKBN1DA1J2

(A P)

Saudi Arabia has 'declared war' on Lebanon, says Hezbollah leader

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and Hezbollah, and said Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned in a speech from Riyadh on Saturday, was being detained in Saudi.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-lebanon-war-declaration-claim-latest-hezbollah-leader-news-updates-a8048001.html

(A P)

Jumblatt: Lebanon does not deserve Saudi accusations of war

Leading Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt said on Friday his country did not deserve to be accused of declaring war against Saudi Arabia, saying it was “really sad” that Riyadh had made such a statement after decades of friendship.

“We do not deserve, as Lebanese, such accusations,” Jumblatt told Reuters by telephone. “For decades, we’ve been friends.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-jumblatt-saudi/jumblatt-lebanon-does-not-deserve-saudi-accusations-of-war-idUSKBN1DA1LL

cp 4 Wird Libanon explodieren? / Will Lebanon explode?

(** A B P)

Will Lebanon become Saudi's next Yemen?

Hariri now seems stuck in Riyadh, like another head of government, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Yemen's president, who reportedly has not been allowed to leave the Saudi capital for months. And with all the posturing from Riyadh, the fear in Beirut is that the country might be facing a proxy war, just like the one in Yemen.

According to the latest reports, Saudi Arabia took the decision on Hariri's resignation because "he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah". He was handed his resignation speech while waiting to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

There have been also rumours that Saudi Arabia is setting the stage for Saad's older brother, Bahaa, to replace him, and has demanded that members of the Hariri family go to Riyadh to pledge allegiance.

Interior Minister Nohad Machnouq had a scathing response when asked about the issue: "[The Lebanese are not] a herd of sheep or a plot of land whose ownership can be transferred from one person to another. Lebanon's democratic system is based on elections, not on a simple pledge of allegiance."

Saudi escalation in Lebanon

But, this time, Lebanese citizens are more worried that this evacuation of Saudi citizens could be followed by an economic - and possibly military - escalation. There is also the ever-present Israeli threat of renewed aggression against Lebanon.

Lebanon does not want war

In a widely watched political show last Thursday, a Saudi analyst offended the Lebanese public by hurling threats and insults at Lebanon, even going as far as accusing the Lebanese president and the speaker of being terrorists.

The Lebanese reacted with anger to these accusations on social media, leading Justice Minister Salim Jreissati to ask the general prosecutor to investigate the case as a crime of contempt and criminal libel against the president, speaker, foreign minister and Lebanese Army.

If the Saudi intention behind the resignation was the formation of a strong anti-Hezbollah coalition that would spearhead an escalation against the party in Lebanon, the result would not satisfy Riyadh.

In fact, it is not clear what options Saudi Arabia has in the event of a decision on a full-blown confrontation. To be sure, it has many supporters.

However, when it comes to an armed confrontation with Hezbollah, it is unlikely that any party in Lebanon would be willing to participate.

Now, this is not to say that Hezbollah enjoys national backing. On the contrary, one thing that has become clearer is that Hezbollah will be unable to continue with its policy of involvement in conflicts outside Lebanon's borders without drawing the ire of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

So far, the Lebanese public has made it clear that it has no "appetite" for a military showdown with Hezbollah. It has also become crystal clear that Lebanon does not want to be part of another armed conflict, nor does it want to be led into a confrontation on someone else's behalf.

The civil war of 1975-1990 was enough. And so were decades of Israeli aggression and wars.

Cooler heads need to prevail. There is no other choice.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/lebanon-saudi-yemen-171112115648693.html

(* A E P)

A political shock throws Lebanon’s economy back into crisis

Lebanon has long been buffeted by blows from the great-powers rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. But its economy sputtered on under a tacit understanding among the regional heavyweights and their local proxies that left Lebanon on the sidelines of that contest.

That may have changed Saturday when the Saudi-aligned Hariri announced his resignation in a televised statement from the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, saying Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, had taken the country hostage. It was an unexpected announcement from the premier, who formed a coalition government with the militant group less than a year ago.

Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Saudi Arabia, which feels it has been humiliated by Hezbollah’s expanding influence in Syria and Iraq, says it will not accept the party as a participant in any government in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates all ordered their citizens out of Lebanon this week, and the Lebanese are wondering and worried about what’s to come.

“We don’t know how things will escalate,” said Rida Shayto, an associate director at the pharmaceutical manufacturer Algorithm, which does half its sales to the Gulf.

The developments have stunned the Mediterranean country, which once looked to Saudi Arabia as a pillar to its own stability.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/11/a-political-shock-throws-lebanons-economy-back-int/

(* A P)

Hariri's party condemns attacks against Saudi Arabia: statement

The party of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who unexpectedly quit a week ago while in Saudi Arabia, denounced on Saturday attacks against the kingdom and Iranian intervention in Arab countries.

Hariri’s Future Movement political party said it stands by him and was “waiting impatiently for his return to Lebanon to handle his national responsibilities in leading this stage.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-futuremovement/hariris-party-condemns-attacks-against-saudi-arabia-statement-idUSKBN1DB0ST

My comment: Lebanon’s political explosion begins.

cp5 Israel

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* A P)

Spannungen um Libanon: Der Feind meines Freundes

Israel und Saudi-Arabien verbindet wenig - außer der Feindschaft mit Iran und Hisbollah. Treten die Israelis nun in den Konflikt um den Libanon ein, droht ein neuer Krieg im Nahen Osten.

In den vergangenen Tagen ist die Gefahr gestiegen, dass im Nahen Osten ein neuer Krieg ausbricht. Schuld daran ist Saudi-Arabien, das den Libanon zum neuen Kampfgebiet erkoren hat und mit Israel eine ungewöhnliche Allianz eingegangen ist. Beide verbindet die Feindschaft mit Iran nach dem Motto: Der Feind meines Feindes ist mein Verbündeter. Saudi-Arabien geht es nur vordergründig um die Hisbollah im Libanon, sondern eigentlich um die Vorherrschaft in der Region und den iranischen Einfluss.

Die Saudis haben zwar den Rücktritt des libanesischen Ministerpräsidenten Saad al-Hariri erzwungen und damit eine gefährliche Eskalation provoziert. Aber sie wollen selbst keinen Militärschlag führen, zumal sie bereits im Jemen gebunden sind und die Kämpfe dort andauern.

Die Israelis könnten erledigen, was der ehemalige US-Nahostbeauftragte und Botschafter in Israel, Dan Shapiro, treffend in wenige Worte kleidete: die Drecksarbeit für die Saudis.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/spannungen-um-libanon-der-feind-meines-freundes-1.3744385

(** B P)

Saudi Arabia's last card in Lebanon: Use Israel to strike Hezbollah

Will Mohammed bin Salman go as far as striking a deal with Israel in which he offers full normalisation in return for Israel destroying Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon?

Saudiised Sunni Lebanese prime ministers - they have to be Sunni according to the constitution - have always combined their financial interests in Saudi Arabia where they made their fortunes with being prime ministers in Lebanon. They held dual nationality and operated freely in two countries.

From Hussein Owayni, Riyad Solh to Rafiq and Saad Harriri, there is a history of finance and politics, and sometimes marriages with senior Saudi princes, cementing a precarious relationship, often controlled by Riyadh for its own purposes, and benefiting Sunni families.

But above all, such prime ministers were instrumental in defending Saudi political interests in Lebanon.

Since the 1950s the Saudi strategy was to promote a Lebanese Sunni bourgeoisie loyal to the Saudis and determined to eradicate nationalist and leftist threats coming from the heart of Beirut.

If the Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry erupts into violent confrontation of some sort in Lebanon, not only the Lebanese but also thousands of Palestinian and Syrian refugees will be drawn into such conflict.

A new refugee crisis may be at the doorsteps of Europe again. This should deter any European country from encouraging or becoming complicit in Saudi designs to destabilise the fragile peace between the many Lebanese mansions.

Saudi Arabia will only be able to destabilise Lebanon if it works with Israel, the only country with the military capabilities to threaten Lebanon’s fragile peace. Will Mohammed bin Salman go as far as striking a deal with Israel in which he offers full normalisation in return for Israel destroying Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon?

This should not be ruled out as the young prince does not seem to think of the consequences of his actions – by Madawi Al-Rasheed

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/saudi-arabia-and-lebanese-house-many-mansions-592984507

(* B P)

Is Israel Winning “The War Between The Wars” with Hezbollah/Iran?

Some of Hezbollah’s recent actions involving its erstwhile unquestioning Shia supporters in Lebanon have also encouraged Tel Aviv in ‘the war between the wars.’ One example was documented on 10/23/2017 when Lebanese police, green-lighted by Hezbollah, raided unlicensed street vendors near the main headquarters of Hezbollah, resulting in vitriolic expressions of discontent targeting the Party of God.

Some Lebanese analysts argue that Hezbollah is paying the price for getting involved in Syria on orders from Tehran. And part of that price is its lost image as a “Resistance” organization as well as costing the lives of thousands of young Shia men. And since Hezbollah became focused on fighting in Syria, it could no longer offer law and order given the growing number of the drug cartels, petty criminals, and illegal construction and growing lawlessness. Shia street clashes are increasing in Dahiya and criticisms of Hezbollah are escalating. Lebanese Shia seeks a reasonable livelihood and basic services and have little interest in Hezbollah’s battle against so-called “Takfires” in Syria.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/10/is-israel-winning-the-war-between-the-wars-with-hezbollahiran/print/

(* A P)

Israel Is in No Hurry to Do the Saudis’ Bidding in Lebanon

The Israeli army is not about to cross the border despite the Saudis’ anger at Iranian meddling and the Syrian drone that Israel shot down in the north

The first leader to exploit claims that Saudi Arabia is trying to push Israel into a new military confrontation in Lebanon is also the most devoted reader of Israeli and foreign news reports – Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. In a speech broadcast Friday on Lebanese television, Nasrallah claimed that the Saudis had declared war on Lebanon and Hezbollah, and warned Israel not to intervene lest it pay a heavy price.

The Washington Post has provided extensive details on Hariri’s resignation; it emerges that Hariri indeed served as a Saudi puppet. The resignation letter was dictated to him at a morning meeting in the royal palace, to which he had been summoned unexpectedly. He was later transferred to a villa in the Ritz-Carlton compound in Riyadh, in which Saudi princes and tycoons are being held following this month’s purge. There, Hariri is under the surveillance of the Saudi security services.

Israel, other than a public verbal assault on Iran a week ago, isn’t commenting on Hariri’s resignation.

For now, it seems it’s the Saudis who may seek such a scenario, while Israel has no interest in a military confrontation. One should note that Saudi Arabia has counted on Israeli military action twice in the past

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.822185

(* A P)

Saudi Arabia Is Opening a New Front Against Iran, and Wants Israel to Do Its Dirty Work

The Sunni kingdom is trying to shift the battlefield from Syria to Lebanon. This may lead to a chain reaction

Is there one line connecting these dots, as well as one linking it to the crisis deliberately-generated by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt with regard to fractious Qatar last summer? Is there a link between these issues and the reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which began to be implemented in Gaza last week, led by Cairo?

It’s unclear if the Saudis will necessarily make do with these moves.

The string of events, starting with the Qatari crisis last summer, strengthens the assumption that this is part of a wider Saudi move, an ambitious attempt to reach a new regional order. On the diplomatic front this is linked to the internal Palestinian reconciliation, led by Cairo but which also requires financial backing by the Saudis and the Emirates. This won’t be all, apparently.

Shapiro, who was Barack Obama’s adviser on Middle East affairs during Obama’s run for the White House, raises the possibility that the fact that the Assad regime in Syria survived the civil war there is driving the Saudis to try and move the battlefield with Iran from Syria to Lebanon, trying to get Israel to do Saudi Arabia’s dirty work. This may lead to a chain reaction, which the Saudis hope for, believes Shapiro. Hariri’s resignation will force Hezbollah to contend with the implications of the political and economic crisis in Lebanon, The Shi’ite organization, in turn, may then escalate a military confrontation with Israel in order to unite the Lebanese public around itself. Shapiro warned Israel against being maneuvered by the Saudis into a premature military confrontation.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.822032

(* B P)

Secret document: Saudis, Israel working together to provoke war in Lebanon

Secret documents made public by Israeli TV Channel 10 indicate that this provocative war scenario was coordinated by Saudi Arabia and Israel to instigate a new Middle East war, with Lebanon the target, vilified as a proxy of Iran. This provocation follows a huge Israeli military exercise held in September simulating an invasion of Lebanon designed specifically to target the Lebanese group Hezbollah. This was Tel Aviv’s largest military drill in 20 years, involving all branches of the Israeli military.

While Washington has branded the Lebanese group Hezbollah “terrorist,” progressives in the Middle East see the group as a defender of Lebanese sovereignty. Twice, in 2000 and 2006, it kicked Israeli troops out of Lebanon.

https://www.liberationnews.org/secret-document-shows-saudi-and-israelis-working-together-to-provoke-a-war-in-lebanon/

(* A P)

I can confirm that #Israel, with help of #NusraFront has created a land-air corridor linking #Jordan to #Lebanon via #Syria allowing #Saudi jets to reach Lebanon unchallenged

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/928688091648405504

So i see that #Lebanese Hezbollah leader Naserallah just confirmed my information here about the land-air corridor to allow #Saudi jets a smooth sailing

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/928995864571412480

cp6 USA

(* A P)

White House condemns threats to Lebanon’s stability after prime minister resigns

The United States expressed its support for Lebanon's sovereignty on Saturday and called for stability in the country amid boiling tensions between Beirut and Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders affirmed Washington's support for Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who abruptly resigned last week in a televised address from Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

"Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri has been a trusted partner of the United States in strengthening Lebanese institutions, fighting terrorism, and protecting refugees," Sanders said. "The United States firmly reiterates that the Lebanese Armed Forces and other Lebanese state security forces are the only legitimate security authorities in Lebanon."

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/359927-white-house-condemns-threats-to-lebanons-stability-after-prime

My comment: We will see whether the US statements and position really point against Arabia or at Iran and Hezbollah and thus actually more support the Saudi politics.

(* A P)

U.S. signals caution to Saudis despite shared concern about Iran

Despite President Donald Trump’s full-throated support for Saudi Arabia, the United States appears to be signaling a desire for Riyadh to take a more cautious approach in its regional power struggle with Iran, experts say.

Trump has cultivated much warmer ties with the Saudis after a fraught relationship with the Obama administration.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear he still recognized as Lebanon’s prime minister Saad al-Hariri, who unexpectedly announced his resignation on Nov. 4 from Riyadh.

Two U.S. officials said the Saudis, led by Crown Prince Mohammed, had “encouraged” Hariri to leave office and Lebanese officials say he is being held in Saudi Arabia, a charge Riyadh denies. Hariri has not commented publicly on whether he is free to come and go as he pleases.

In a statement on Saturday, the White House said it “rejects any efforts by militias within Lebanon or by any foreign forces to threaten Lebanon’s stability...or use Lebanon as a base from which to threaten others in the region.”

When asked to comment on whether the United States was pushing for a more cautious Saudi response, both the White House and State Department referred to Saturday’s statement on Lebanon.

Tillerson was ”not going along with the Saudi position in describing the Lebanese state as under capture by Hezbollah,” said Paul Salem, the senior vice president of the Middle East Institute, a Washington think tank. “That’s significant.”

Tillerson was also “signaling to the Israelis ... that now is not the time to go after Lebanon,” said Salem

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-saudi-iran/u-s-signals-caution-to-saudis-despite-shared-concern-about-iran-idUSKBN1DB0TY and also https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-wants-all-states-and-parties-to-respect-lebanons-sovereignty/4110769.html

(A P)

US asks foreign forces to leave Lebanon as Iran-Saudi tension heats up

The State Department wants foreign “forces, militias or armed elements” out of Lebanon as the generations-long proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia intensifies there.

“We're watching it very carefully and we are encouraging support for the legitimate government of Lebanon and we're asking other outside parties to stay out of it,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while traveling in Asia. “To the extent there's foreign presence there, whether it's from Iran or Syria or wherever it might be from, we think those forces need to depart and leave.”

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11/10/us-asks-foreign-forces-to-leave-lebanon-as-iran-saudi-tension-heats-up.html

My comment: LOL. Of course, US, Israel and Saudi forces would not be asked to leave. The US begins to adopt the Saudi propaganda tune.

cp7 Propaganda

(* A P)

Why Saad Al-Hariri has done the right thing

For some in “occupied” and “subjugated” Lebanon, the nightmare is over; for others, the country is approaching a regional cliff edge.
In fact, Lebanon is going through a second “March 14th” uprising, this time against direct Iranian domination, which is the real thing, unlike during the first uprising, when Syria’s “security custody” was a mere shadow of that real thing.
Many have viewed the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, from a post that was always a flimsy cover for Iranian domination, as a step in the right direction. If anything, his resignation may have been overdue, since his only task was rubber-stamping.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1191961

My comment: That’s how Saudi propaganda puts it.

cp8 Mehr / More

(A P)

Saudi Arabia says Saudi citizen kidnapped in Lebanon

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-saudi-kidnap/saudi-arabia-says-saudi-citizen-kidnapped-in-lebanon-idUSKBN1DA2TB

My comment: Increasing pressure.

(* A P)

Saudi-Arabien ruft seine Staatsbürger zum sofortigen Verlassen des Libanon auf

Aufgrund der zugespitzten Lage in der Libanesischen Republik hat das Königreich Saudi-Arabien all seine Bürger, die sich in dem Land aufhalten, dazu aufgerufen, dieses so bald wie möglich zu verlassen. Das berichtet die Zeitung Haaretz.

https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/60388-saudi-arabien-ruft-staatsburger-aus-libanon-zuruck/

(* A P)

Gulf states advise citizens against travelling to Lebanon

Three Gulf states advised their citizens against travelling to Lebanon on Thursday and asked those already there to leave as soon as possible, amid rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran over Lebanon and Yemen.

http://in.reuters.com/article/saudi-arabia-lebanon-travel/gulf-states-advise-citizens-against-travelling-to-lebanon-idINKBN1D92XY?rpc=401&

More reports on Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Middle East:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-356-yemen-war-mosaic-356

Earlier reporting

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-355-yemen-war-mosaic-355 cp12b

22:19 12.11.2017
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
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Dietrich Klose

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