Libanon-Mosaik / Lebanon Mosaic 3

Libanon in den Medien: Hariri in Paris angekommen / Hariri arrived at Paris - Saudisches Libanon-Schach / Saudi Lebanon gambit - Rolle der Hisbollah / Role of Hezbollah - und mehr / & more
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Das Neueste / Latest news

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

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

cp 3 Libanon in der Krise / Lebanon in crisis

cp4 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

Das Neueste / Latest News

(* A P)

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris for talks with Macron

Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister this month while in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Paris on Saturday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, a statement from Hariri’s press office said.

Hariri told Lebanese President Michel Aoun in a phone call from Paris that he would be in Lebanon on Wednesday for Independence Day celebrations, Aoun said on Twitter.

Hariri will meet Macron at noon and then attend a lunch in his honor with his wife and eldest son, the statement said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri-paris/lebanons-hariri-arrives-in-paris-for-talks-with-macron-idUSKBN1DI083

(* A P)

Hariri tells Lebanese president will be in Lebanon Wednesday: Aoun

Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister this month while in Saudi Arabia, told President Michel Aoun in a phone call he would be in Lebanon on Wednesday for Independence Day celebrations, Aoun said on Twitter on Saturday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri-aoun/hariri-tells-lebanese-president-will-be-in-lebanon-wednesday-aoun-idUSKBN1DI09V

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

(** B P)

Wie ein Land zur Geisel wurde

Im Libanon kämpfen Saudi-Arabien und der Iran mit allen Mitteln um die Vormacht. Droht hier der nächste Krieg im Mittleren Osten?

Droht hier ein neuer Krieg? Könnte der Libanon, wo ich seit bald fünf Jahren lebe, zum Schlachtfeld werden, auf dem Saudi-Arabien und der Iran ihren Kampf um die Vorherrschaft im Mittleren Osten austragen?

Die Frage lag in der Luft – und plötzlich war es still in den Straßen Beiruts.

Es begriff zwar zunächst keiner, was genau da gerade passierte. Aber den meisten Libanesen schwante, dass nicht nur ihr Premierminister in Riad zu einer politischen Geisel geworden war, sondern der ganze Libanon.

Die schiitische Bewegung (Hisbollah) war längst zur dominierenden Macht im Land geworden – ein Quasi-Staat mit eigenem Sozialsystem, eigenem Geheimdienst und vor allem mit einer Miliz, die dank iranischer Finanzierung mächtiger geworden war als die nationale Armee.

Es war auf Initiative Teherans, dass damals im Libanon Hisbollah aufgebaut wurde. Die Bewegung sollte die bis dahin von allen drangsalierten Schiiten im Libanon gegen die israelische Okkupation verteidigen. Was damals als Guerillatruppe begann, hat sich über die Jahre zur schlagkräftigsten Streitmacht im Land ausgewachsen.

Iran unterstützt Hisbollah finanziell und ideell. Im Gegenzug kämpfen Einheiten von Hisbollah im Interesse Irans, unter anderem in Syrien.

In den vergangenen zehn Jahren sind immer wieder Journalisten, Ermittler oder Politiker durch Autobomben ermordet worden, die entweder zu hartnäckig Aktivitäten von Hisbollah untersucht oder offen gegen die "Partei Gottes" und ihre Verbündeten Syrien und den Iran opponiert haben.

Hariri junior war wie schon sein Vater der Mann der Saudis in Beirut. Derjenige, der den Libanon davor bewahren sollte, endgültig ein Vasallenstaat des Irans zu werden. Mit ihm als Premierminister gab es ein vermeintliches Gegengewicht zu den Männern von Hisbollah, die ebenfalls an der Regierung beteiligt waren.

Hariri musste nun offenbar gehen, weil er in den Augen seiner saudischen Herrn dem iranischen Einfluss zu wenig entgegensetzte.

Mit diesem Schritt aber ist nun auch die ungeschriebene Abmachung zwischen Saudi-Arabien und dem Iran hinfällig, den Libanon nicht auch noch zum Kriegsgebiet zu machen – Von Andrea Böhm

http://www.zeit.de/2017/47/libanon-saudi-arabien-iran-nahost-mohammed-schattah-saad-hariri

(* B P)

Saudi Arabia’s Lebanon Gambit

Saudi Arabia pressed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign to try to weaken Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. The path to resolving the crisis could run through Yemen.

Saad Hariri’s unexpected resignation in Riyadh fueled speculation in Lebanon over whether its prime minister was a captive of his Saudi patrons and his speech was coerced. Locked in a regional struggle with Iran, Saudi Arabia came to see Hariri as a “fig leaf” for Tehran-backed Hezbollah, which sits in the national unity government, says Mohamad Bazzi, a journalist and professor at New York University. But, Bazzi says, there is a possibility for this crisis to be defused if Hezbollah withholds support for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

What does Saudi Arabia gain by taking Hariri out of the government?

It is part of a larger strategy to corner Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia had invested years and tens of millions of dollars in Hariri, his political movement, and his allies. But there’s a perception in Riyadh that Hariri can’t quite deal with the combination of Hezbollah and the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, and that perhaps [Saad’s] older brother, Bahaa, would be tougher. There’s speculation in Beirut that the Saudis were trying to push Saad Hariri aside and elevate Bahaa to the leadership of the [predominantly Sunni political party] Future Movement and the Sunni community in Lebanon, and maybe even offer his older brother as a candidate for prime minister.

But it was done without consulting any of the stakeholders in the Sunni community in Lebanon, and it seems it was done without consulting the leadership of the Future Movement or even members of the Hariri family. In that way, it seems that Saudi Arabia’s power play backfired.

Hariri has strong ties to the Sunni Arab states and to the West. Because he’s in a national unity cabinet in which Hezbollah and its allies—mainly Aoun and his party—are the dominant forces, he became, in the Saudi view, a fig leaf for Hezbollah. The Saudi leadership figured that they would push Hariri out of the way, withdraw political cover from Hezbollah, and make it easier for the West to isolate Hezbollah. That also hasn’t worked out.

Is Hezbollah truly an Iranian proxy, as Saudi Arabia argues, or does it pursue its own agenda on behalf of Lebanon’s Shias?

Over the past few years it has devoted enormous resources and energy to an Iranian priority, the preservation of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. That Iranian priority mostly coincides with Hezbollah’s priorities when it comes to Syria, but I’m not sure if at the beginning of the Syrian war Hezbollah expected to be involved for this long and to devote this much energy and manpower to it. Hezbollah has probably become the most successful foreign policy project of the Islamic Revolution; it is the most successful group that Iran has funded and nurtured over the years.

Could Saudi pressure compel Hezbollah to bow out of regional conflicts?

On the face of it, no, although Hariri granted a TV interview to a Lebanese journalist on Sunday night in which he seemed to change the Saudi demands: instead of a total curtailing of Hezbollah’s role in Syria and Iraq and Yemen, he focused on the Saudi demand that Hezbollah should not support the Houthis in Yemen. That’s one demand that Hezbollah might meet. It’s not clear how much Hezbollah has invested in Yemen.

https://www.cfr.org/interview/saudi-arabias-lebanon-gambit

My comment: Interesting for understanding the Lebanon crisis, although with an evident propaganda bias. The main problem is: There is nearly no Hisbollah interference in Yemen. Yemen is just a Saudi pretense to pummel Lebanon – for getting Hisbollah out of Syria and for zzz

(* B P)

The Truth About Why Saudi Arabia and Israel Are Really Working Together

Despite Saudi Arabia’s tough rhetoric and brutal assault against its neighbor, Yemen (the poorest country in the region), the unfortunate reality is that Saudi Arabia is not the strongman it has hopelessly painted itself to be. This isn’t conjecture or an attempt to needlessly bolster and promote regional rivals such as Iran, as has become the trend among anti-imperialist commentators.

Yes, Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich country who uses its money to great effect on the international level. Saudi Arabia’s relationships with nuclear powers Russia and China have also been intensifying. However, what the media won’t tell you is that there’s actually a hidden reason why Russia offered to sell Saudi Arabia its advanced S-400 missile defense system while spending years flirting with selling Iran a the lesser S-300 system. According to Asia Times:

“Russia’s carefully-calibrated weapons sales to the opposing Persian Gulf powers follows a pattern established by China over the past decade. China sells missiles to Iran as well as to the KSA, but it sells more advanced missiles to the Saudis, because the Saudis are the weaker of the two adversaries, and China wants to maintain the balance of power. Russia has been called a ‘spoiler’ in the Middle East so often that the term clings like a Homeric epithet. In recent weeks, Russian policy has shifted to classic balance-of-power politics.”[emphasis added]

China knows this, Russia knows this, and most importantly, Saudi Arabia knows this, too.

That is why on multiple occasions, Saudi Arabia has expressed its desire to “have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia.”

And when the Kingdom says it wants to have the battle “in Iran,” it doesn’t appear to mean that Saudi Arabia is in any way close to launching a strike or invasion anywhere close to Iran. Rather, it appears the anti-Iran axis will continue the same tried and true strategy it failed to implement in Syria and in neighboring Lebanon, whereby regional powers funneled weapons, money, and fighters to bolster Sunni extremists attempting to topple the Syrian government. Over half a decade later — with hundreds of thousands of bodies left buried beneath the rubble — it appears the plan to destabilize Syria has failed abysmally.

If destabilizing Lebanon through indirect means doesn’t work out, Saudi Arabia evidently has plans to use the Israeli military to do its work for them, as Middle East Eye explained

http://theantimedia.org/saudi-arabia-israel-working-together/

(* B P)

If the Middle East is a chessboard, here's how the pieces line up in light of recent developments

For years, Lebanon, often a plaything for foreign powers, had largely avoided becoming a battleground for the region’s toxic rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

But a surprise resignation by Prime Minister Saad Hariri this month, seemingly at the behest of the Saudi government, has pushed the country into the center of that struggle for dominance, which risks plunging the region into open conflict — with Israel acting in conjunction with Saudi Arabia.

Here’s a glance at the some of the players involved and where they stand on the chessboard.

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-lebanon-wars-20171116-htmlstory.html

(** B P)

Beleaguered Lebanon will be the scene of the next war

“When all the Arabs and the Israelis agree on one thing, people should pay attention. We should stop this Iranian takeover,” said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month. So we’re paying attention now, and we even know where the next war will start: Lebanon.

That seems unfair, as Lebanon’s last civil war lasted 15 years, killed around 200,000 people (out of a population of only four million), and only ended in 1990. Couldn’t they hold this one somewhere else? Unfortunately, no. All the other venues are taken.

Both Saudi Arabia and Israel want to take Iran down a peg or two, and their efforts to get the United States to do it for them have not yet succeeded. Trump is not opposed in principle, but his current obsession is North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

So the war will have to be in Lebanon, at least at the start. The big Shia militia that controls southern Lebanon, Hezbollah, is closely allied to Shia Iran, and it’s a permanent nuisance along Israel’s northern border, so it’s a suitable place to start rolling back Iran’s influence in the region.

Lebanon is a particularly good choice from Saudi Arabia’s point of view because it’s the Israelis who would have to do the actual fighting there. (Saudi Arabia does not share a border with Lebanon.) But if Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is really serious about curbing Iran’s power, his own troops are eventually going to have to take on the job of cleansing Syria of Iranian influence.

You only have to say that sentence aloud to realise that this project is going to end in tears for the Saudis, the Israelis and (if they get sucked into it) the Americans. There is no way that the inexperienced Saudi army is going to drive battle-hardened Hezbollah and Iranian militia troops out of Syria.

Actually, there is no way that the Israeli army is going to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon either – by Gwynne Dyer

http://cyprus-mail.com/2017/11/16/beleaguered-lebanon-will-scene-next-war/

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

(* A P)

Saudi-Arabien ruft Botschafter aus Berlin zurück

Warum trat der libanesische Regierungschef zurück? Hielten die Saudis ihn fest? Aus Protest gegen Gabriels Kritik hat das Königshaus seinen Botschafter zurückgerufen.

Hariri verließ das Land in der Nacht zum Samstag nach Angaben des arabischen Nachrichtenkanals Al-Arabija und seines eigenen Fernsehsenders Future TV in Richtung Paris. Er richtete eine Twitter-Nachricht direkt an den deutschen Außenminister: "Zu sagen, dass ich in Saudi-Arabien festgehalten werde und es mir nicht erlaubt sei, das Land zu verlassen, ist eine Lüge. Ich bin auf dem Weg zum Flughafen, Herr Sigmar Gabriel", schrieb Hariri.

Vor seiner Abreise traf sich Hariri mit dem saudischen Kronprinzen und weiteren Regierungsvertretern, wie zwei libanesische Fernsehsender berichteten. Auch in den Berichten hieß es, Hariri werde aus Saudi-Arabien abreisen.

Der 47-Jährige soll mit seiner Familie nach Paris fliegen und am Samstagmittag den französischen Präsidenten Emmanuel Macron treffen.

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-11/saad-hariri-saudi-arabien-botschafter-protest-sigmar-gabriel

und

(* A P)

Saudi-Arabien ruft Botschafter aus Berlin zurück

Nach tagelangen Spekulationen und diplomatischen Bemühungen flog Hariri zusammen mit seiner Frau am Samstag von Riad nach Paris ab. Unklar war, ob auch ihre Kinder dabei waren. Hariri ist in Saudi-Arabien aufgewachsen und besitzt auch die Nationalität des Königreichs. Kurz vor dem Abflug hatte Hariri im Kurzbotschaftendienst Twittermitgeteilt: "Zu sagen, dass ich in Saudi-Arabien festgehalten werde und es mir verboten sei, das Land zu verlassen, ist eine Lüge." Dabei wandte er sich explizit an Gabriel.

http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/nach-gabriels-libanon-aussagen-saudi-arabien-ruft-botschafter-aus-berlin-zurueck_id_7863998.html

Bemerkung: Zu der saudischen Reaktion auf Gabriels Äußerung s. auch cp6.

(* A P)

Lebanon's Hariri on Twitter: "I am on the way to the airport"

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said late on Friday he is on his way to the airport in Saudi Arabia.

Hariri, who sparked a crisis by resigning as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4 during a visit to Saudi Arabia, tweeted, “To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie. I am on the way to the airport...”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri/lebanons-hariri-on-twitter-i-am-on-the-way-to-the-airport-idUSKBN1DH2T5

My comment: Well, you had been held up and are released now.

(* A P)

Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia for France on Friday: MP

Saad al-Hariri, who sparked a crisis by resigning as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4 during a visit to Saudi Arabia, will leave Riyadh for France on Friday, a member of his party said, but will not return directly to Beirut after the visit.

“Today to Paris, this afternoon, and tomorrow a family meeting with (French President Emmanuel) Macron,” Okab Saqr, a member of parliament for Future Movement, told Reuters.

Saqr said that after Hariri’s visit to France, he would have “a small Arab tour” before traveling to Beirut.

Macron, speaking in Sweden, said Hariri “intends to return to his country in the coming days, weeks”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/hariri-to-leave-saudi-arabia-for-france-on-friday-mp-idUSKBN1DH1JU

(A P)

Hariri says his Saudi stay was to discuss Lebanon's future

Saad al-Hariri, who resigned from his post as Lebanon’s prime minister two weeks ago from Saudi Arabia, said on Friday he has been in Saudi for discussions “on the future of the situation in Lebanon and its relations with the surrounding Arab region”.

Writing on Twitter, Hariri also said information which has been circulating about his stay, his departure and his family are “just rumors”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri-twitter/hariri-says-his-saudi-stay-was-to-discuss-lebanons-future-idUSKBN1DH1TU

My comment: LOL.

(* A P)

Hariri plant Ausreise nach Frankreich

Libanons zurückgetretener Premier will die Einladung aus Paris annehmen und Saudi-Arabien zusammen mit seiner Familie verlassen – wenn die Regierung in Riad ihn lässt.

Der libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad Hariri, der während seines Aufenthalts in Saudi-Arabien unter bislang ungeklärten Umständen zurückgetreten ist, will nach Angaben der französischen Regierung zusammen mit seiner Familie nach Frankreich ausreisen. Aus seinem Umfeld hieß es, Hariri will den Flug innerhalb der nächsten 48 Stunden antreten, um anschließend nach Beirut zurückkehren und d

ort seinen Rücktritt offiziell einzureichen.

Kurz danach hatte Frankreichs Präsident Emmanuel Macron Hariri und seiner Familie angeboten, nach Paris zu kommen. Am Rande der Weltklimakonferenz in Bonn berichtete Macron, er habe mit dem Premier und dem saudischen Außenminister darüber gesprochen. Es sei wichtig, Befürchtungen aus dem Weg zu räumen, Saudi-Arabien habe Hariri gefangen genommen. Bei seiner Offerte handele es sich um eine Einladung "für einige Tage" und nicht um ein "politisches Exil".

Nach Aussage des saudischen Außenministers Adel al-Dschubeir kann Hariri selbst über seine Rückkehr in den Libanon entscheiden. Es sei ja auch sein Entschluss gewesen, von seinem Amt zurückzutreten. "Hariri wird vor einer Rückkehr die Sicherheitslage im Libanon prüfen", sagte al-Dschubeir und verwies auf die Dringlichkeitssitzung der Arabischen Liga, die am Samstag über die Libanon-Krise beraten will. Aus Beirut hieß es, Hariri werde wohl am Sonntag in den Libanon zurückkehren.

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-11/libanon-saad-al-hariri-frankreich

(A P)

Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis

Lebanon’s president said on Thursday he hoped the crisis surrounding Saad al-Hariri’s resignation as prime minister was near its end after Hariri said he would travel to France from Saudi Arabia where he has been since stepping down.

“We hope the crisis is over and the door of solution is opened by PM Hariri’s acceptance of the invitation to visit France,” Aoun said in a tweet on Thursday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-saudi-france/lebanese-president-hopes-hariri-visit-to-france-will-end-crisis-idUSKBN1DG1KO

(* A P)

Lebanon's Hariri to fly to Paris within 48 hours - source close to Hariri

Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri is expected to leave Saudi Arabia for France within 48 hours, before flying home to Beirut to officially submit his resignation as Lebanese prime minister, a source close to Hariri told Reuters on Thursday.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-lebanon-politics-hariri/lebanons-hariri-to-fly-to-paris-within-48-hours-source-close-to-hariri-idUKKBN1DG0YP

(* A P)

Lebanese PM accepts invitation to travel to France

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accepted an invitation to leave Saudi Arabia and go to France, an Elysee Palace spokewoman told CNN on Thursday. It comes a day after Lebanon's President accused Riyadh of holding Hariri "captive".

"He will come to France and the prince has been informed," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday, according to AFP, referring to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who held talks with the Foreign Minister on Wednesday.

"Hariri, whom I will see soon today, has been invited to France with his family by President Macron - he will come there when and if he will wish it. And will be received as a friend," said Le Drian.

The statements were made in a joint press conference with Le Drian's Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, indicating that France has played a key role mediating Lebanon's latest political crisis.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/16/middleeast/lebanon-hariri-france/index.html

(* A P)

Saad Hariri: Lebanon PM 'can go to France when he wants'

France, Lebanon's onetime colonial ruler, has been trying to mediate in the crisis.

Its position is that Mr Hariri should be allowed back to Beirut to resubmit his resignation in person, reports the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris.

For the moment that option is unacceptable to the Saudis, so a compromise appears to have been arranged under which the prime minister travels to Paris, where he has extensive personal and business connections, our correspondent adds.

On Wednesday, as Mr Le Drian arrived in Riyadh, President Emmanuel Macron announced that he had invited Mr Hariri and his family to France after speaking by telephone to the prime minister and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mr Macron was later forced to clarify that he was not offering political exile, and that he expected Mr Hariri to stay only "for a few days".

On Thursday, France's foreign minister told reporters: "Mr Hariri - who I will see later - is invited to France with his family by President Macron. He will come to France when he wants and as soon as he wants. He will be welcome as a friend."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42006206

(* A P)

The Latest: Saudi FM says up to Hariri to decide to return

The Latest on developments regarding resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri(all times local):

1:40 p.m.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says it is up to resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to decide when to return to Lebanon.

Adel al-Jubeir says Thursday it was Hariri's decision to resign and it will be his decision to decide when to return to Lebanon. He said Hariri will also study the security situation in Lebanon before returning.

France has invited Hariri and his family to visit, a decision hailed by the Lebanese president as a way to end the crisis.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-aoun-hopes-france-invitation-ends-lebanon-crisis-51189644 and by Saudi media http://www.arabnews.com/node/1194331/middle-east

cp3 Libanon in der Krise / Lebanon in crisis

(* A P)

Libanesischer Außenminister: Libanon wird eingeschüchtert, um Gasprojekt mit Russland zu verhindern

Libanons Außenminister Gebran Bassil wirft ausländischen Staaten vor, sein Land einzuschüchtern. Dabei gehe es auch darum, ein gemeinsames Gasprojekt mit Russland zunichte zu machen. Er appellierte an Moskau, sich als Ausgleichsmacht stärker zu engagieren.

Der libanesische Außenminister Gebran Bassil sagte, es gebe derzeit eine Anti-Libanon-Kampagne im Nahen Osten, die darauf abzielt, sein Land "einzuschüchtern". Der Zedernstaat soll demnach dazu gezwungen werden, ein gemeinsames Gasprojekt mit Russland aufzugeben.

Im Bemühen, "die Region zu stabilisieren", konfrontieren Akteure von außen Beirut mit unterschiedlichen Schwierigkeiten, sagte Bassil am Freitag vor einem Treffen mit seinem russischen Amtskollegen Sergej Lawrow. Bevor die aktuelle Krise ausgebrochen sei, habe der Libanon "fast die Schwelle zum ersten Auftrag im Hinblick auf eine gemeinsame Erschließung von Schiefergas-Feldern mit russischen Unternehmen" überschritten.

Hat Saudi-Arabien Hariri als Geisel genommen?

Eine Kampagne zur Behinderung dieses Deals sei nun "unter verschiedenen Vorwänden" im Gange, sagte der Minister. "Einige Länder versuchen unter dem Einsatz bestimmter Druckmittel, einen Enthauptungsschlag gegen den Libanon zu führen."

Bassil spielt damit auf den jüngst verkündeten, von Saudi-Arabien durchgesetzten Rücktritt des libanesischen Premierministers Saad Hariri an

https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/60810-libanesischer-aussenminister-libanon-wird-eingeschuechtert-gasprojekt-russland/

(* A P)

Strange Twists in the Hariri Mystery

French President Macron has invited Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Paris, a possible opportunity to determine whether Hariri’s sudden resignation, announced in Saudi Arabia, was coerced.

The strange case of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his surprise resignation, delivered in Saudi Arabia, has developed international overtones with rumors about his possible kidnapping by the Saudis and France extending an invitation for him to come to Paris before possibly returning to Lebanon.

I spoke again to Beirut-based political activist and environmentalist Rania Masri on Nov. 13 about the Hariri case. Masri is an Arab-American academic, an expert in the workings of the Lebanese government, and has been doing regular translations of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Facebook.

There is an almost total consensus that Hariri has been held captive since Friday.

During this time, it has become very apparent that Saudi Arabia has been in discussions with the US and Israeli governments and has been encouraging the Israeli government to attack Lebanon. The Lebanese president believes that he has gotten word that the Saudis and the Israelis are actually discussing something akin to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. We are not talking about a war such as what occurred in 2006 but the possibility of an invasion like the one that took place in 1982.

So the political rhetoric has been escalated by the Saudis. They have basically declared war on Lebanon. The Saudi plan was to threaten Lebanon with military destruction and hope that the Lebanese would rise up against Hezbollah, leading to a civil war. That plan has completely failed.

Hezbollah condemns Saudi intervention in Lebanon. They consider it an insult that the Lebanese prime minister is being held against his will and they call for his return to Lebanon. If he wants to resign, he should do so from the presidential palace. Hezbollah considers the declared resignation to be unconstitutional, illegal and illegitimate, because it was not voluntary.

Nasrallah has continued to call for de-escalation.

Dennis Bernstein: Is all of this driven by what appears to be the profound failure of the Saudis in Syria?

Rania Masri: There are several issues at play. Historically, the Saudi government has always sought to create enemies, very much in the way the US government has. The de facto ruler in the country, Mohammed bin Salman, has proven himself to be a strategic failure.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/17/strange-twists-in-the-hariri-mystery/

(* A B P)

Lebanese Sunni politician warns of Arab sanctions over Hezbollah

Lebanon could face economic sanctions from Arab countries or worse if Hezbollah does not stop meddling in regional conflicts, a Lebanese Sunni politician said on Friday.

Former Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, who rose to prominence with vocal opposition to Shi‘ite Hezbollah, is closely aligned to the Saudi position in Lebanon and more hawkish than long-established Sunni leaders.

“We can expect economic repercussions. At the political level too, at the level of our Lebanese-Arab relations. And it’s open to all the possibilities, unfortunately,” he said.

Rifi said he has been in touch with Saudi officials recently over Lebanon’s crisis and is familiar with Riyadh’s thinking.

A political rival of Hariri, Rifi defeated a Hariri-backed list in local elections in the mostly Sunni city of Tripoli last year, though he lacks the premier’s country-wide standing.

“Today, Lebanese officials have a big responsibility. All the Lebanese officials have to be careful about good relations with the Arab world,” Rifi told Reuters. “There is no more leniency towards Hezbollah...using its illegitimate arsenal” in Middle East conflicts.

Lebanese politicians and bankers have said they fear Saudi Arabia corralling Arab allies to economically blockade Lebanon as they did with Qatar.

“Lebanon cannot live without the Arab countries,” Rifi said. “We know how many Lebanese work in Saudi Arabia or in the Gulf and how much revenue they bring...to the Lebanese economy.”

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have now drawn a line in the sand, Rifi said. “That there is no place for (Hezbollah) in (Lebanon‘s) future government, if it keeps choosing to be a security and military arm for Iran.”

The Lebanese state will have to distance itself in “a real and practical” way from regional wars “so that we don’t bear the repercussions of Hezbollah’s acts,” he added.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-rifi/lebanese-sunni-politician-warns-of-arab-sanctions-over-hezbollah-idUSKBN1DH2J8

(* A P)

What Can Saudi Arabia Really Do About Hezbollah?

Given the Iranian-backed militant group’s growing tentacles, maybe not much.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on another foreign policy adventure by intervening in Lebanon's delicate sectarian power balance to undermine Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a regional force, with combatants in Yemen, Iraq and helping President Bashar al-Assad prevail in Syria.

Nasrallah has spoken twice about the resignation and in both speeches his demeanor was calm and conciliatory, dispelling fears of an all-out conflict with the Sunnis and joining calls for Hariri’s return from Saudi “detention” despite “our political differences.”

The strategy has been to disparage the Saudi move, said Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs. That argument allowed Nasrallah to portray the crisis as a blow to international law rather than one about the group’s involvement in other regional conflicts, Nader said.

Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government and needs the political cover Hariri has provided at a time of increasing U.S. sanctions on the group and escalating Israeli rhetoric about bombing Lebanon back to the Stone Age, said Nader.

A few days before Hariri’s resignation, Saudi Minister of State for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan said on Twitter he was surprised that the Lebanese government and people were silent over Hezbollah’s participation in a war against his country. It was a reference to the conflict in Yemen.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-15/what-can-saudi-arabia-really-do-about-hezbollah

My comment: This is very US „mainstreamy“, largely adopting Saudi propaganda claims. Hisbollah does not play any role in Yemen, even if a few (certainly not more) Hisbollah personel should be there. Thus, the whole propaganda based on this claim when taken to pummel Lebanon is totally odd.

(A P)

Hariri’s brother breaks silence, slams Hezbollah

Bahaa’s name has been mentioned in Lebanese media reports as a possible Saudi-backed candidate to replace his brother

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri’s older brother broke his silence Wednesday over the premier’s mysterious resignation, saying he supports his brother’s decision to step down over the “growing demands and actions of Hezbollah.”

In his first public statement, sent to AP, Bahaa Hariri blasted Iran and accused its militant Lebanese proxy of seeking “to take control of Lebanon.” He also expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for “decades of support” for Lebanon’s national institutions.

Bahaa Hariri’s name has been mentioned in Lebanese media reports as a possible Saudi-backed candidate to replace his brother, who announced his resignation from the Saudi capital on November 4.

His statement is bound to fuel speculation that he is being groomed to fill the post.

http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/lebanon/hariri-s-brother-breaks-silence-slams-hezbollah-1.2125559

cp4 Mehr / More

(A P)

Streit über Gabriels Libanon-Äußerung: Saudi-Arabien ruft Botschafter aus Berlin zurück

Diplomatischer Eklat zwischen Deutschland und Saudi-Arabien: Nach kritischen Aussagen von Außenminister Sigmar Gabriel zur Libanon-Krise beordert Riad seinen Botschafter aus Berlin zurück.

Saudi-Arabiens Regierung zeigt sich verärgert über Bundesaußenminister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD): "Saudi-Arabien hat beschlossen, seinen Botschafter in Deutschland zu Konsultationen zurückzurufen", meldete die amtliche Nachrichtenagentur SPA. Es geht demnach insbesondere um Aussagen Gabriels, wonach der zurückgetretene libanesische Regierungschef Saad Hariri nicht gegen seinen Willen in Saudi-Arabien festgehalten werden dürfe.

Ein Protestbrief dazu wird laut SPA auch dem deutschen Botschafter in Riad überreicht. Die Nachrichtenagentur zitierte einen Sprecher des saudi-arabischen Außenministeriums, der von "gefährlichen Erklärungen" Gabriels sprach, die auf "falschen Informationen beruhen und der Stabilität der Region nicht dienlich sind". Riad gehe davon aus, dass dies nicht die Position der "befreundeten" Bundesregierung sei.

Gabriel hatte am Donnerstag den libanesischen Außenminister Gebran Bassil in Berlin getroffen. Danach sprach er von einer "brandgefährlichen Entwicklung im Libanon" und warnte vor "blutigen Auseinandersetzungen" in dem Land sowie mit Nachbarländern. Er prangerte - ohne Saudi-Arabien direkt zu nennen - "politisches Abenteurertum" in der Region an und forderte eine Rückkehr Hariris nach Beirut. Dabei lobte er die französische Einladung für Hariri nach Paris. Niemand dürfe Hariri und seine Familie daran hindern, diese Einladung anzunehmen.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/saudi-arabien-zieht-aus-aerger-ueber-sigmar-gabriel-botschafter-aus-berlin-ab-a-1178670.html und auch http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/wegen-krise-im-libanon-eklat-zwischen-deutschland-und-saudi-arabien/20601772.html

(* A P)

Iran says 'biased' French policy stoking Middle East crises

Iran said on Friday that "biased" French policy was stoking crises in the Middle East after Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused it of "hegemonic" ambitions in the region.

"Unfortunately it seems that France has a biased and partisan approach to the crises in the region and this approach, whether intentionally or not, is even contributing to turning potential crises into real ones," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said.

Le Drian made his comments in Iran's arch rival Saudi Arabia on Thursday during a visit aimed at resolving a crisis sparked by the shock resignation earlier this month of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a staunch critic of Iran.

"The concerns you express fly in the face of regional realities and are addressed to the wrong side," Ghassemi said in response to Le Drian's comments.

"Ignoring regional realities and echoing baseless concerns that have been pulled out of the air by deluded, warmongering Saudi officials and are aggressive towards Iran do not contribute towards settling the crises in the region in which Saudi Arabia clearly plays a destructive role."

https://www.thelocal.fr/20171117/iran-says-biased-french-policy-stoking-middle-east-crises

Earlier reporting:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/libanon-mosaik-lebanon-mosaic-2

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

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-358-yemen-war-mosaic-358

12:04 18.11.2017
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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