Libanon-Mosaik / Lebanon Mosaic 5

Libanon in den Medien: Die Lage beruhigt sich, es bleibt Unsicherheit. Libanon im Konflikt Iran-Saudi Arabien. Diskussion um Rolle der Hisbollah / Situation calms down, uncertainty stays
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 Ministerpräsident Hariri / Prime Minister Hariri

cp3 Libanon in der Krise / Lebanon in crisis

cp4 Propaganda

cp5 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)

Audio: Die wechselvolle Lage im Libanon

Die Mutter aller Machtkämpfe - so nennen Politikwissenschaftler die Rivalität zwischen Iran und Saudiarabien im Nahen Osten: Araber gegen Perser kämpfen seit mehr als tausend Jahren und bis heute ist das Ringen der beiden Staaten um Macht und Einfluss ein Muster hinter zahlreichen regionalen Konflikten, die immer wieder zu Kriegen und Katastrophen führen, aktuell zu sehen in Syrien und im Jemen. Auch der Libanon rutscht derzeit immer tiefer in die politische Krise. In Beirut, der Hauptstadt des Landes, ist ARD-Korrespondentin Anne Allmeling unterwegs, und erklärt im Gespräch mit Samuel Jackisch, was hinter dem Konflikt zwischen Saudiarabien und Iran steckt.

https://www.inforadio.de/programm/schema/sendungen/weltsichten/201711/185811.html = http://www.ardmediathek.de/radio/Weltsichten/Die-wechselvolle-Lage-im-Libanon/Inforadio/Audio?bcastId=9824560&documentId=47840492

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Lebanon in the Crosshairs

Al-Hariri’s fall from grace came about because the Saudis were unhappy regarding his reluctance to directly confront Iranian influence, best demonstrated by Hezbollah’s unilateral participation in the civil war in neighboring Syria. The Saudis, who forced through a resolution at the Arab League last weekend declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organization, would like to have its political wing out of the government completely, an impossibility given its military and political power. Riyadh is also believed to be working with the Israelis to increase pressure and create a casus belli over Lebanon to justify direct action to isolate Hezbollah. And the ultimate target is Iran with the two countries working together to roll up Iranian influence in the region starting with Lebanon, which will see increasing political and economic pressure from Riyadh while the Israelis will be standing by to intervene militarily, if necessary.

So what could go wrong? Probably everything as most of the current initiatives being discussed are unattainable. Israel has overwhelming air and sea superiority in the region but it does not have the boots on the ground to control the land it flies over. Nor do the Saudis and Riyadh’s vision of some kind of broad Sunni front taking shape against Iran and the Shi’as is almost certainly little more than wishful thinking.

And there is no sign that the Lebanese, who have placed their army on standby, are eager to avoid a war by cutting a preemptive deal with the Saudis that would involve Israel, so the idea of starting a hot conflict that could somehow be managed which would destroy Hezbollah will likely prove to be a bridge too far for Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

All of which could easily leave the United States out on a limb. If it climbs into bed with the Israelis and Saudis and commits to take down Iran it will wind up having to do the hard fighting in a war that could be unwinnable in any conventional sense – by Philipp M. Giraldi

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/24/lebanon-in-crosshairs.html = https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/11/phil-giraldi/lebanon-in-the-crosshairs/

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Middle East on tenterhooks as a prince goes on a rampage

Hariri was apparently kept under ‘house arrest’ on the order of the Crown Prince, Salman, not known for caring about diplomatic proprieties. It seems that Hariri is also accused by his hosts of committing fraud. Rumours are that the Lebanese PM was threat

Dancing on a volcano is the national sport of the Lebanese, at least of the well-to-do, but the political volcano erupts every now and then, on land or in the sky.

Then, earlier this November, the apparent calm was shattered. Premier Hariri, son of the assassinated Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, who must be given credit for planning and orchestrating the rebuilding of Beirut, went to Saudi Arabia, his second home after paying a visit to Iran, where he had held cordial talks with the national leadership in Tehran. However, in the meantime, a missile fired by the Houthi fighters from Yemen was shot down by Riyadh’s Patriot air-defence batteries over the international airport. The infuriated Saudi rulers turned on Hariri, whom they accused of appeasing the Iranians, instead of sticking to their agenda to fight the hated Shias of Hezbollah, alleged to be behind the Houthi rebellion.

Detaining a foreign head of government has always been a casus belli and most Lebanese were outraged. President Aoun refused to recognise the resignation from abroad and the entire Cabinet and Parliament demanded Hariri’s return.

Prince Muhammad bin Salman acts and speaks as if he wished to be his country’s Peter the Great or Ataturk, a ruthless modernising reformer, who grabs all power and brooks no opposition. Yet, as can be expected of an inexperienced and pampered 30-something-year-old, his style of leadership has been tyrannical, but erratic.

The question now is what will come from the Saudi multi-pronged attack against Iran and its allies, backed by Israel’s policy aimed at pushing the pro-Tehran factions out of the Lebanese government and still hoping to bring about a collapse of the Assad-led Syrian government, even though the current US administration is not committed to those two objectives. Iran, a past master at deception, subtle diplomacy and covert operations has plans of its own which do not bode well for the Saudi regime.

http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/11761-middle-east-tenterhooks-prince-goes-rampage

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How a mutual enemy is changing Israel, Saudi relations

Now, the dynamics of a changing Middle East have revealed an association built on mutual interests, namely countering Iran's growing influence in the region. For Israel and Saudi Arabia today, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Speaking to Israel Army Radio on Sunday, Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz admitted what many had long suspected. "We have partially clandestine ties with many Muslim and Arab countries. It's the other side who is interested in hiding it," Steinitz said. "Our ties with the moderate Arab world assists us in blocking Iran."

With official diplomatic relations static, opposition to Iran and its proxies has become the mutual interest for ties to develop privately.

Last week, Prince Adel bin Ahmad al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, said: "Hezbollah is a terror organization. There is no peace in Lebanon unless it's disarmed." Those words could have come from Israel's leaders, who see Hezbollah -- an Iranian proxy -- as a serious, possibly strategic, threat to Israel.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/25/middleeast/israel-saudi-relations/index.html

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Will realignment in the Middle East lead to rare stability or an eruption?

Was cursed Lebanon, a small Muslim-Christian country that was already in the middle of a power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia, once again marked for tragedy – one that could envelop the entire Middle East?

"Any war in Lebanon would not be limited to Lebanon, for sure," said Kamel Wazne, a political and economics analyst in Beirut. "It would have the potential to explode into a regional war."

Lebanon has routinely been a flashpoint for Middle East violence – civil and regional wars, assassinations, terror attacks, foreign occupations. With Mr. Hariri's resignation, the omens did not look good

Not only has the crisis in Lebanon been defused – at least temporarily – the rest of the Middle East is undergoing a realignment, one that holds the potential to promote a rare bout of regional stability but could very well do the opposite as Iran and Saudi Arabia play their geopolitical zero-sum game, where one country's gain is considered the other country's loss. If the Middle East were to erupt in a shooting war for regional power, Lebanon would no doubt be caught in the middle. It could even be at the centre of the eruption, as it was in 2006, when Israel invaded southern Lebanon in an ultimately failed effort to rid it of Hezbollah.

The question is whether Hezbollah will comply. If it does, even partly, tensions would drop in the Middle East and Lebanon might be spared upheaval. It is widely believed in Lebanon that Mr. Hariri was, in effect, detained by the Saudis because they believed his unity coalition government had provided too much cover for Hezbollah, which directly or indirectly controls 17 of the government's 30 cabinet seats.

There are tentative signs that Hezbollah, led by Hassan Nasrallah, is willing to negotiate.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/will-realignment-in-the-middle-east-lead-to-rare-stability-or-an-eruption/article37074004/

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Saudis Target Lebanon, the Hope of Middle Eastern Christians

In the context of of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation, Pope Francis and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai are trying to keep the peace for the Middle East’s best model for future stability.

Lebanon is increasingly in the crosshairs of an escalating regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The highest levels of leadership in the Catholic Church are acting to save Lebanon from a war that could not only devastate this historic Christian homeland, but also deal a fatal blow to the survival of Christianity in the Middle East, and plunge the region into a longterm sectarian war.

During Sunday’s Angelus message, Pope Francis delivered an impassioned appeal for the international community to do everything possible to secure peace in the Middle East, asking the faithful to “pray for the stability of [Lebanon], so that it can continue to be a ‘messenger’ of respect and coexistence for the entire region and for the whole world.”

Philippe Nassif, executive director of In Defense of Christians, a D.C.-based lobby that advocates for the interests of Middle Eastern Christians told the Register that the Saudis were attempting to collapse Hariri’s national unity government, which included Hezbollah’s political wing, in a “reckless” bid to even the regional chess game the Saudis have been losing against Shiite-dominated Iran.

Nassif said Lebanon’s survival is critical to the survival of Christianity in the Middle East.

“If something happens in Lebanon, everybody loses,” he said, especially the Lebanese who are determined to avoid war because they already “know what happens when they start shooting at each other.”

Nassif said the U.S. government needed to de-escalate the tensions to prevent “one stupid thing” that would make the region explode, led to a massive exodus of refugees, and prove fatal for the long-term endurance of Christianity in the Middle East.

Amid these heightened tensions took place an event of enormous historic importance: Maronite Catholic Patriarch and Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai made an official visit to Riyadh Nov. 14, at the behest of Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Avoiding War and Embargo

Right now, Hariri seems to have received indications that Hezbollah will accommodate his need to distance Lebanon from the regional conflicts and keep the country neutral as much as possible.” Malik said the coming days will show whether Harari can live with this “new tweaked deal” or follow through with his plan to resign.

Overall, Malik said, the Saudis have failed to score any major victories and the “Iranian-Hezbollah-Assad axis supported by Russia” has the upper hand in the region.

“The scheme to blow up Lebanon that was intended by all these Saudi moves the past 20 days has backfired royally upon the desert royals,” Malik said. Lebanon stayed united and gained wide international support for their stability, Hezbollah toned down the triumphalism for the language of compromise, and Hariri returned to Beirut with a hero’s welcome.

“Lebanon, for now, has truly dodged a bullet.”

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/saudis-target-lebanon-the-hope-of-middle-eastern-christians

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Lebanon's Jumblatt calls for Saudi-Iranian discussions

Top Lebanese Druze politician Walid Jumblatt on Saturday called on Saudi Arabia to enter dialogue with Iran and said that the Kingdom’s modernization plans could not work while Riyadh was engaged in a war in Yemen.

“A settlement at minimum with the Islamic Republic (of Iran) gives us in Lebanon more strength and determination to cooperate to enforce the policy of disassociation,” Jumblatt wrote in a Tweet on Saturday.

“Disassociation” is widely understood in Lebanon to mean its policy of staying out of regional conflicts, which Hariri has been stressing since his resignation, a reference to Hezbollah whose regional military role is a source of deep concern in Saudi Arabia

“Enough of the destruction and siege in Yemen and enough of the human and material drain on the Kingdom’s people and resources,” Jumblatt said. “Let the Yemeni people choose who it wants and you, Your Excellency the Prince, be the judge, the reformer, and the big brother as your ancestors were.”

Jumblatt also said it is very difficult to stop the war unless issues are overcome and discussions are held with Iranians.

On Friday, Jumblatt criticised the way Hariri had been treated by “some Saudi circles”, the first time he has appeared to direct blame at Riyadh over Hariri’s resignation this month.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-jumblatt/lebanons-jumblatt-calls-for-saudi-iranian-discussions-idUSKBN1DP0E3

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Saudi Arabia has become an 'irrational actor in the Middle East,’ says analyst

"I say this because every single foreign venture they (Saudi Arabia) try has reached the opposite result that they wanted. In Yemen, in Qatar, and now in Lebanon," he said.

In the latest twist to come out of Middle East geopolitics, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday suspended his previous resignation, apparently in order to open "a new gateway for responsible dialogue," he said in a statement. Whether this came with Saudi approval is not yet known.

"What Saudi Arabia is miscalculating is that in (holding) the PM of Lebanon probably against his will in the country, it has managed the feat of unifying all of Lebanon against Saudi, including the constituency of Lebanon that is traditionally sympathetic to Saudi," the strategist explained.

A diverse country of 18 different religious groups, Lebanon's fragile political system is based on power-sharing between Sunnis, Shiites and Christians.

Saudi Arabia's efforts are part of its campaign to isolate Hezbollah and freeze its involvement in regional conflicts in which the Sunni kingdom has interests, like Yemen and Syria.

"We see an outbreak of unity in Lebanon for their PM because they saw the attitude of Saudi Arabia as humiliating for Lebanon. It's interesting that we've seen this unity against Saudi -- Saudi probably outplayed its hand in this conflict," he told CNBC.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/23/saudi-arabia-has-become-an-irrational-actor-in-the-middle-east-says-analyst.html

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Saudi Arabia has overreached on Iran, Lebanon

Forcing Hariri to resign and ratcheting up tensions with Iran over Yemen has backfired on the prince and his advisers.

Saudi Arabia had invested years of political effort and tens of millions of dollars to support Hariri and his political movement in Lebanon, especially after the assassination of Hariri’s father, Rafik, in February 2005.

Saudi leaders thought that they would be able to push Hariri aside, withdraw political cover from Hezbollah, and make it easier for Sunni Arab states — along with the United States and Israel — to target the group.

But after Hariri’s sudden departure, Lebanese from all political factions rallied around him and insisted that his resignation was invalid because Saudi leaders coerced him.

Tensions have eased over the past week, and it’s unlikely that the latest crisis will escalate into a military confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran. But while the prospect of direct clashes between the two regional rivals has eased, their ongoing proxy war is destabilizing the Middle East.

Saudi leaders have since scaled back their efforts to declare Lebanon a hostile state. Already overstretched by Yemen and embroiled in a diplomatic crisis with Qatar, the kingdom cannot effectively challenge Hezbollah, Iran’s main ally in Lebanon, without assembling a broader Arab and international coalition. But this is still a dangerous moment in the Middle East. As long as Iran and Saudi Arabia view their rivalry as a zero-sum game — where one can only gain at the expense of the other — there is a risk of miscalculation that spirals out of control – by Mohammed Bazzi

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bazzi-afterislamicstate-commentary/commentary-how-saudi-arabia-has-overreached-on-iran-lebanon-idUSKBN1DL2K2

cp2 Ministerpräsident Hariri / prime Minister Hariri

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Eine mächtige Familie

Wie die Unternehmerdynastie Hariri die Geschichte des Libanon prägte und warum ihr Niedergang nichts Gutes ahnen lässt

Die Geschichte einer Dynastie, so glamourös wie tragisch, mit deren Auf und Ab die jüngere Geschichte von Libanon zusammenhängt. Obwohl - oder weil - sie in Saudi-Arabien ihren Anfang nimmt.

Es ist sein Kapital, mit dem Rafiq al-Hariri sich in den Achtzigerjahren in das Bewusstsein der Libanesen katapultiert.

In diesen Zeiten spendet Rafiq al-Hariri Millionen Dollar für Kriegsopfer und beginnt von Saudi-Arabien aus in den Wiederaufbau zu investieren und die Bürgerkriegsparteien zu Kompromissen zu bewegen, die letztendlich zum Frieden führen.

Das Verhängnis der Familie Hariri wird mit dem der Kennedys verglichen

Was nach einem guten Kompromiss klingt und was die Herrschaft einer Religionsgruppe über die anderen verhindern soll, ist in Wahrheit der Geburtsfehler dieses Landes. Regiert werden kann nur, wenn die Eliten zusammenarbeiten. Und diese Eliten sind teilweise seit Jahrzehnten verfeindete Familien oder ehemalige Warlords

Der Libanon ist nun wieder Schauplatz für den Konflikt zwischen Saudi-Arabien und Iran – von Pierre Jarawan

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/libanon-eine-maechtige-familie-1.3766066 = http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/libanon-wie-die-familie-hariri-den-libanon-praegt-1.3766066

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Family of Lebanon PM Hariri visit French president in Paris

Hariri’s office said his wife Lara, daughter Louloua and one of his two sons, Abdelaziz, arrived in France on Thursday “for a holiday” and will stay in Paris for a few days.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri/family-of-lebanon-pm-hariri-visit-french-president-in-paris-idUSKBN1DP0OO

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With Saudi Ties Fraying, Lebanese Premier’s Construction Empire Crumbles

Saudi Arabia is at the nexus of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s two big problems: his precarious political future and the looming collapse of his construction empire, a business built on decades of support from the Saudi royal family.

Saudi Oger, a Riyadh-based construction company wholly owned by the Hariri family, closed operations across Saudi Arabia this summer after the Saudi royal family slashed spending on lavish construction projects. The firm is now relying on the Saudi government—its main client—to pay millions... (subscribers only)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-saudi-ties-fraying-lebanese-premiers-construction-empire-crumbles-1511519402

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Film: What was really behind Saad Hariri's resignation?

The Lebanese Prime Minister shocked his country by resigning while in Saudi Arabia. Some suggested Hariri was being held in Riyadh against his will. When he returned to Lebanon, he rescinded his resignation saying that was going to 'seek dialogue'. Journalist Azadeh Moaveni sees the original resignation as a failed attempt, on the part of Hariri and Saudi Arabia, to reduce the power of the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05p2pxm

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The case of the kidnapped Prime Minister

But, what has been termed as a unique “kidnapping” took place after Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s aircraft landed in the Saudi capital Riyadh on November 3.

Saudi Arabia appears to have handled subsequent developments, without carefully thinking through issues. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is being held responsible for what transpired.

Hariri played a crucial role in restoring peace in Lebanon, by making common cause with the country’s Christian President, Michel Aoun. It was the joint efforts of Aoun and Hariri that led to the Shia Hezbollah supporting the government in Lebanon and restoring peace in the war-torn country. Prince Salman resented this development, as it cemented a formidable Shia grouping comprising Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, across the Gulf of Aden and the Mediterranean.

“Nothing justifies that Saad al Hariri has not returned to Lebanon in 12 days. We consider that he has been detained,” an outraged Aoun told reporters on November 15.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/magazine/voices/2017/nov/25/the-case-of-the-kidnapped-prime-minister-1709597.html

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French envoy met Hezbollah ahead of Hariri's return: source

Hezbollah officials met with a French envoy earlier this week ahead of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon, a source close to the party said Friday.

https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2017/Nov-24/427638-french-envoy-visited-hezbollah-ahead-of-hariris-return-source.ashx

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Story of the PM Hostage: Hariri.
- In Beirut: Iran wants stability. As PM I will help build a strong lebanon
(Hours later)
- In Riyadh: I resign. We will cut Iran's hand.
(Liberation process)
- In Beirut today: I take it back. I'm still PM.
*Shakes hands with Iran's ambassador* (photo)

https://www.facebook.com/NotoWahabism/photos/a.446760528785868.1073741828.446357405492847/1386796864782225/?type=3

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Libanons Premier tritt vom Rücktritt zurück: Beben in Beirut

Saad Hariri ist zurück in Beirut - und erklärt, vorerst doch libanesischer Ministerpräsident bleiben zu wollen. Seine Anhänger jubeln. Doch Saudi-Arabien dürfte diese Schmach kaum auf sich sitzen lassen.

Als wäre nichts gewesen, steht Saad Hariri am Mittwochvormittag mit Parlamentspräsident Nabih Berri und Staatspräsident Michel Aoun in dessen Palast und schüttelt Hände. Militärs und Botschafter sind anlässlich des Unabhängigkeitstages gekommen, auch Irans Mann in Beirut ist dabei: Mohammed Fathali.

Wenige Minuten vor dieser bizarren Begegnung hatte sich der 47-Jährige in einer kurzen Rede direkt an das libanesische Volk gewandt. Darin verkündete Hariri eine spektakuläre Kehrtwende. Er setze seinen Rücktritt, den er nach seiner Flucht von Saudi-Arabien aus erklärt hatte, vorläufig aus. Präsident Aoun habe ihn um diesen Schritt gebeten, sagte er.

Mit Hariris Rücktritt vom Rücktritt geht eine weitere Runde im saudisch-iranischen Machtkampf um Einfluss im Nahen Osten an Teheran. Ob Kronprinz Mohammed seinem Vasallen Hariri nun den ersten Rückzug Anfang November diktiert hatte oder nicht: Klar ist, dass Saudi-Arabien diesen Schritt guthieß. Ziel des Königshaus war es, den Einfluss Irans in Beirut zu begrenzen. Hariri, so die Lesart vieler, sollte dafür das Faustpfand sein und erst dann wieder in den Libanon zurückkehren, wenn Iran und die Hisbollah Zugeständnisse machen. Doch diese sind gegenwärtig nicht erkennbar. Und trotzdem ist Hariri wieder da.

Für den Libanon bedeutet das: Nach der Krise ist vor der Krise. Daran ändert auch Hariris triumphale Rede am Mittwochnachmittag vor seiner Privatresidenz wenig, in der er jubelnden Anhängern entgegenrief: "Libanon First".

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/libanon-saad-hariri-bleibt-premier-beben-in-beirut-a-1179767.html

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Hariris Doch-nicht-Rücktritt

Hariri, darüber herrscht breiter Konsens, räumte seine Posten zunächst auf saudischen Druck. Offenbar war es ihm nicht gelungen, die Macht der in Libanon an der Regierung beteiligten Hisbollah einzudämmen. Grund genug für den sprunghaften saudischen Kronprinzen Mohammed bin Salman, Hariri aus dem Amt zu drängen. Die Menschen, die an diesem Unabhängigkeitstag auf Beiruts Straßen tanzen, genießen derweil den Moment.

Maha Yahya, Direktorin des Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut sagt, „Hariris Entscheidung bedeutet nicht, dass die Krise vorbei ist“. Doch nun sei die Türe offen für ruhigere Gespräche. Es wurde deutlich, dass noch Spielraum für Verhandlungen bestehe.

Den muss jetzt vor allem die Hisbollah nutzen. Ohne deren Zugeständnisse ist es schwer vorstellbar, dass Hariri dem Druck seiner Schutzmacht Saudi-Arabien weiter wird standhalten und im Amt bleiben können. Konkret wird sich die Hisbollah der von ihr 2012 mitunterzeichneten Babdaa-Erklärung annähern müssen, die von libanesischen Parteien Neutralität in Bezug auf regionale Konflikte verlangt. Das würde bedeuten, jegliche Unterstützung der Huthi im Jemen zu unterlassen und sich aus anderen Ländern wie Syrien und Irak zurückzuziehen.

http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/international/libanons-premier-hariri-oder-die-hisbollah/20621442-2.html

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Libanesischer Premier Hariri schiebt Rücktritt auf

Saad Hariri bleibt vorerst Ministerpräsident des Libanon. Damit komme er der Bitte von Staatspräsident Michel Aoun nach, mit seinem endgültigen Rücktritt noch zu warten. Das erklärte Hariri in einer Fernsehansprache in der libanesischen Hauptstadt Beirut.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/libanon-libanesischer-premier-hariri-schiebt-ruecktritt-auf-1.3760545

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Film: Libanon: Hariris seltsamer Rücktritt vom Rücktritt

Am 4. November erklärte der libanesische Premierminister Saad Hariri während eines Aufenthaltes in Saudi Arabien überraschend seinen Rücktritt. Seitdem gab es viele Gerüchte, was Hariri zu diesem Schritt bewegt haben mag. Die Hisbollah und der Libanon warfen Saudi Arabien vor, den Premierminister zum Rücktritt gezwungen zu haben. Hariri selber dementierte diese Gerüchte, sprach jedoch von einem Mordkomplott gegen ihn. Zwei Wochen nach seinem Rücktritt ist Hariri in seinem Land zurück und erklärt den Rücktritt vom Rücktritt. Die genaueren Umstände der seltsamen Begebenheiten sind nach wie vor unklar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=wXcVxzChyPU

cp3 Libanon in der Krise / Lebanon in crisis

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Nur eine Atempause für den Libanon?

Mit seinem Rücktritt vom Rücktritt hat der libanesische Premier Hariri weltweit für Erleichterung gesorgt. Aber der Konflikt zweier Großmächte der Region hat sich eher noch verschärft.

Mit dem erzwungenen Rücktritt wollte das sunnitische Saudi-Arabien den Libanon in eine Krise stürzen und die schiitische Hisbollah schwächen.

Ist der Sunnit einmal weg, so wohl das Kalkül der Saudis, fehlt der Hisbollah ein Feigenblatt, und sie offenbart sich als tatsächlicher Machthaber und Marionette des Erzrivalen Teheran.

Doch Kronprinz Mohammed Bin Salman, der neue Architekt von Riads Außenpolitik, machte die Rechnung ohne den Wirt. Die unverhohlene Einmischung von außen einte Libanesen aller Konfessionen hinter Hariri.

„Wir sind keine Schafe und kein Stückchen Land, das man von einer Person einer anderen zuschanzen kann“, sagte Innenminister Nuhad Mahnuk.

Auch die internationale Staatengemeinschaft war über Bin Salmans Schachzug entsetzt. In Europa fürchtete man ein neues Chaos. Kein Land der Welt beherbergt mehr Flüchtlinge pro Kopf als der Libanon, wo mehr als anderthalb Millionen Syrer Zuflucht fanden.

Die Affäre um Hariri schwächte Saudi-Arabiens Kronprinz außenpolitisch.

Daheim ist Saad jetzt der Held vieler Libanesen, nicht nur der Sunniten.

In seiner eigenen Partei, so heißt es in Beirut, will er nun „Sabhans Männer“ entlassen, Hardliner, die im Auftrag Riads zur Konfrontation mit der Hisbollah drängten. Das könnte langfristig eine Zusammenarbeit mit der Hisbollah ermöglichen. Die signalisierte schon Gesprächsbereitschaft.

Nichtsdestotrotz bleibt Hariri von Riads Unterstützung abhängig – von Gil Yaron

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article170984456/Nur-eine-Atempause-fuer-den-Libanon.html

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Die Krise im Libanon ist entschärft, aber nicht gelöst

Nahostkorrespondent Michael Wrase über das rätselhafte Hin und Her um den libanesischen Ministerpräsidenten Saad Hariri.

Nach der von Frankreich arrangierten Heimkehr des libanesischen Premierministers Saad Hariri wird sich die Lage vor Ort beruhigen. Aber nicht auf Dauer. Zu gross sind die Differenzen zwischen den Regionalmächten Iran und Saudiarabien, zwischen Schiiten und Sunniten.

Knapp drei Wochen nach seinem mysteriösen Rücktritt ist sich der libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad Hariri seiner Verantwortung offenbar bewusst geworden. Wenige Stunden nach der Rückkehr in sein Heimatland erklärte der 47-Jährige Mitte Woche, dass er seinen Rücktritt auf Bitten des Staatspräsidenten Michel Aoun vorerst verschoben habe.

Damit entschärfte Hariri die Krise in der Zedernrepublik. Beendet dürfte sie noch lange nicht sein, da sich die Grundsatzpositionen der auch im Libanon aufeinandertreffenden Regionalmächte des Mittleren Ostens – Saudiarabien und Iran – nicht verändert haben.

Für das sunnitische Saudiarabien aber war die Allianz (des Sunniten) Hariri mit der verhassten Schiitenmiliz unerträglich. Man zwang ihn zum Rücktritt und schränkte seinen Spielraum dramatisch ein.

Hariris Körpersprache während eines Fernsehinterviews vor zehn Tagen erhärtet Spekulationen, dass er in Riad unter massivem Druck stand, der erst von ihm abfiel, als er letzten Freitag in Paris eintraf. Erst dort wirkte er entkrampft, konnte wieder lachen.

Nur dank dem französischen Staatspräsidenten Emmanuel Macron und dessen Aussenminister Yves Le Drian wurde Hariri die Heimreise in den Libanon gestattet. Mit dem Umweg über Paris konnten alle ihr Gesicht wahren.

Hariris Rücktritt vom Rücktritt scheint auch von der sau­dischen Führung akzeptiert worden zu sein. Sie verlangt jedoch Gegenleistungen. Den Schmusekurs gegenüber der Hizbollah wird er kaum fortsetzen können. Riad drängt auf die Entwaffnung der Miliz, wofür Hariri aber die Mittel fehlen.

https://www.bernerzeitung.ch/ausland/standard/Die-Krise-im-Libanon-ist-entschaerft-aber-nicht-geloest/story/19095701

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Im Blickpunkt: Schutzherr des Libanon

In der aktuellen Krise des Libanon hat der maronitische Patriarch, Kardinal Bechara Rai, staatspolitische Verantwortung übernommen.

Das Oberhaupt der größten christlichen Gemeinschaft des Landes verhandelte in Saudi-Arabien mit König und Kronprinz, sprach in Rom mit der US-Botschafterin und wurde am Donnerstag von Papst Franziskus empfangen.

Das komplizierte libanesische Proporzsystem sorgt dafür, dass Maroniten, Sunniten und Schiiten aufeinander angewiesen sind. Es nimmt die drei großen Bekenntnisse in die Pflicht und verhindert eine Tyrannei der Mehrheit, schafft aber zugleich ein Einfallstor für ausländische Einflüsse

Der maronitische Patriarch wurde in dieser Krise zum Schutzherrn des Libanon und seiner Christen, er übernahm in einer verfahrenen Situation staatspolitische Verantwortung. Für den Moment erfolgreich, wie es scheint.

http://www.die-tagespost.de/politik/Im-Blickpunkt-Schutzherr-des-Libanon;art315,183499

(** B P)

Hariri is back and so is Lebanon's status quo

His shock resignation and mysterious stay in Saudi Arabia had sparked fears of chaos but Prime Minister Saad Hariri's homecoming appears to signal a return to what Lebanon's political class does best: the status quo.

The past three weeks saw an unprecedented episode in Lebanon's rocky political history that started with the premier popping up on television from Saudi Arabia to announce his resignation.

Some Lebanese residents started packing their bags, fearing yet another institutional crisis or, worse, a devaluation of the currency and even a return to armed civil strife.

When he returned late Tuesday, after what looked like an "exfiltration" by France, he hinted he was open to dialogue with Hezbollah and froze his resignation, with the blessing of the president, who is also a political rival.

French-Lebanese analyst Ziad Majed said the leadership in Beirut was now engaged in "a damage control exercise".

Lebanon will find itself "in a state of waiting, on standby, to make sure things do not spiral out of control".

Such deals can be crippling for reform but afford the small country some level of protection from flare-ups between the various political patrons of its different factions.

"For now, the government is temporarily resuscitated. With its revival, the Lebanese people are getting back one gaping vacuum," the French-language Beirut daily L'Orient-Le Jour wrote in an editorial Friday.

Hariri was among Lebanon's leaders celebrating Independence Day on Wednesday and there are now few visible signs that the former French colony just experienced one of the most outlandish sequences in its recent history.

"Hariri has bought himself more time but none of the core issues are solved. In the coming months, he's going to be right in the crossfire," Bitar predicted.

"One the one hand, he will have to lead this government that includes Hezbollah, and on the other he can't stray too far from the line imposed by Saudi Arabia," he said.

A European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saudi Arabia probably realised they had gone too far by forcing Hariri to resign.

"The Saudis have no strategy in Lebanon, the way they handle things is dictated by their outbursts and their frustrations," the diplomat said. "Lebanon is the kingdom of weak consensus, something the Saudis hate.

Hariri is resuming a tough balancing act but his recent emphasis on "disassociation" from regional power struggles and on giving priority to Lebanon sounds like wishful thinking, according to analysts.

"Without a real Saudi-Iranian modus vivendi, it's hard to see how Lebanon can be fully sheltered from regional turmoil," Bitar said.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/hariri-is-back-and-so-is-lebanon-s-status-quo/article/508407

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Lebanon’s Vanishing Prime Minister Is Back at Work. Now What?

Now Mr. Hariri is at property once once again — and anyone is hoping to figure out what arrives future.“Where do we go from in this article?” claimed Nadim Munla, senior adviser to Mr. Hariri. “Everybody is checking Iran and Hezbollah, and I seriously imagine that the ball is in their courtroom.”Mr. Hariri’s odd excursion underlines how susceptible Lebanon continues to be to clashing regional and worldwide agendas. In the country’s sect-centered political procedure, most major parties count on overseas powers for funding, with the expectation that the functions will then progress the pursuits of their international backers. Mr. Hariri has performed that function for Saudi Arabia considering that getting it around from his father, Rafik Hariri, a previous primary minister who was killed in a car-bomb assault in Beirut in 2005. Nations like the United States and France also guidance him, taking into consideration him a moderate, professional-Western leader. Hezbollah performs that job for Iran, which served generate it in the 1980s.

That arrangement labored domestically. But as Saudi Arabia and its younger, assertive crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, grew a lot more alarmed about the actions of Iran and its allies in the region, they uncovered it ever more untenable that their Lebanese ally was heading a govt with associates of a team they take into consideration a terrorist firm and security danger.

But the prepare backfired, with politicians throughout the political spectrum and other associates of Mr. Hariri’s loved ones rejecting the strategy that Saudi Arabia could swap out politicians as it happy.“We are not herds of sheep, nor a plot of land whose ownership can be moved from just one individual to another,” Nouhad Machnouk, the inside minister and an ally of Mr. Hariri, told reporters this month.

Lebanon's Vanishing Prime Minister Is Back at Work. Now What? - The ... = https://cbpnews.com/lebanons-vanishing-prime-minister-is-back-at-work-now-what/

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Lebanon PM’s decision to suspend resignation paves way for negotiations

In Lebanon, Prime Minister Hariri has bought some time for negotiations – by suspending his resignation. Now, analysts say he must secure commitments from governing parties that will appease Saudi Arabia.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah party wields tremendous strength in Lebanon and the Saudi Kingdom wants to weaken that stronghold not only inside the country but also in the region. Hariri’s intended resignation – believed to be Saudi orchestrated – would have fostered that.

Instead, a behind-the-scenes inner-governmental deal is in the works that includes Saudi provisions for Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Iraq, Yemen and Syria, and Hezbollah weapons removal from Lebanon.

Hariri’s backtrack is keeping Lebanon from political and economic meltdown but external intervention in national governance is a perpetual sticking point.

Ultimately, it is unlikely Hezbollah or patron state Iran, will agree to all or even most of the terms.

It’s now up to Prime Minister Hariri to secure commitments, but it will take more than the prime minister’s negotiating powers to secure those gains. Local analysts say the U.S., Russia, Turkey and even Israel may be part of the next round of negotiations.

https://america.cgtn.com/2017/11/24/lebanon-pms-decision-to-suspend-resignation-paves-way-for-negotiations

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Hariri: Hezbollah's regional positions 'unacceptable'

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has warned Hezbollah against interfering in regional conflicts, saying he postponed his resignation to discuss ways to disassociate Lebanon from wars in neighbouring countries.

Speaking during a meeting with the Higher Islamic Council, the official body for the country's Sunni Muslims, on Saturday, Hariri stressed that Lebanon was being targeted and that it risked being dragged into chaos.

"The postponement [of resignation] at the request of President Michel Aoun was to give an opportunity to discuss and negotiate our principal demands to make Lebanon neutral and keep it away from the conflicts and the wars in the region, and to implement the policy of disassociation … and commit to the Taif Agreement," Hariri said in a statement released by the prime minister's office.

"As we have previously announced on several occasions, we will not accept Hezbollah's positions that affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries," he added.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/hariri-hezbollah-regional-positions-unacceptable-171126081552149.html

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Lebanon's Hariri takes critical line on Hezbollah

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Saturday that he would not accept Iran-backed Hezbollah’s positions that “affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries”, a statement from his press office said.

Following his announcement, made on Lebanon’s independence day, hundreds of Hariri supporters packed the streets near his house in central Beirut, waving the blue flag of his Future Movement political party.

On Saturday, Hezbollah’s International Relations Officer Ammar Moussawi said that the Shi‘ite group is ready to reach understandings with “our partners in the country”, and that the group is open to real dialogue and cooperation with all, Lebanon’s state news agency NNA reported.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/lebanons-hariri-takes-critical-line-on-hezbollah-idUSKBN1DP0HC

(A P)

PM Hariri urges Lebanese to put country first

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday that the recent period was a wake up call for the Lebanese with different loyalties to put their country first ahead of regional issues.

"The period that passed was perhaps like a wake up call for all of us to look for Lebanon's interests rather than looking at problems around us," Hariri said at the Annual Arab Banking Conference in Beirut. "The problems around us are important, but Lebanon is more important."

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-pm-hariri-urges-lebanese-to-put-country-first-2017-11?IR=T

(* A P)

Filme: "Ein Spielplatz größerer Länder"

Trotz der Rückkehr von Regierungschef Hariri herrscht im Libanon Angst vor einem Krieg. Die Menschen dort sehen ihr Land immer mehr als Spielball des sunnitischen Königreichs Saudi-Arabien und dessen schiitischem Erzrivalen Iran.

http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/libanon-155.html

(* A P)

Rückkehr auf Probe

Hatte Hariri, Anführer der sunnitischen Zukunftsbewegung, vor seiner Rückkehr noch betont, dass "ich, wie Sie wissen, zurückgetreten bin", ließ er sich nun von Präsident Aoun mindestens halb umstimmen, einem maronitischen Christen, wie es die Verfassung für das Amt vorschreibt. Wichtiger aber im politischen Gefüge: Aoun ist ein enger Verbündeter der schiitischen Hisbollah, die in Libanon mit Abgeordneten im Parlament vertreten ist und mit Ministern in Hariris Einheitskabinett.

Nun also erklärte Hariri nach seinem Treffen mit Aoun, dass er dem Präsidenten zwar sein Rücktrittsschreiben präsentiert habe. "Aber er hat mich gebeten, das Einreichen zeitweise auszusetzen und meinen Rücktritt auf Eis zu legen, bis es weitere Konsultationen über die Gründe gegeben hat"

Worüber zu reden sei, deutete er lediglich an: Libanon müsse neutral bleiben bei Konflikten in der Region und sich allem enthalten, das "die interne Stabilität der arabischen Brüder untergräbt und die brüderlichen Beziehungen zu ihnen". Aber jeder Libanese versteht, dass das auf die regionale Rolle der Hisbollah gemünzt ist.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/libanon-rueckkehr-auf-probe-1.3761287

(B P)

Krise eingefroren

Die Rückkehr Hariris kann nicht verdecken, dass die schiitische Dominanz in Libanon übermächtig ist.

Die Interessensgegensätze zwischen Saudi-Arabien, dessen Protegé Hariri ist, und Iran mit seinem mächtigen Handlanger Hisbollah werden eher zunehmen.

Das Rezept in Libanon war immer, sich zu isolieren von den Querelen der Region, obwohl man letztlich doch Teil der größeren Auseinandersetzungen war. In nunmehr bald sieben Jahren Krieg in Syrien hat das erstaunlich gut funktioniert.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/libanon-krise-eingefroren-1.3760658

(* B P)

Sensibler Ausgleich zwischen den Konfessionen im Libanon: Vielfältigste religiöse Landschaft in Nahost braucht Stabilität

Der Libanon besitzt die vielfältigste religiöse Landschaft im Nahen Osten. 18 Glaubensgemeinschaften sind offiziell anerkannt. Das Zusammenleben ist sensibel. Das gegenwärtige politische System im Libanon beruht auf der Aufteilung der Macht unter den verschiedenen konfessionellen Gruppen. So sieht der "konfessionelle Parität", festgelegt im Nationalpakt von 1943, eine gleich starke Vertretung von Muslimen und Christen im Parlament vor. Auch die Sitzverteilung innerhalb der Religionsgemeinschaften ist nach einem festgelegten Schlüssel geregelt.

Das System steht in der Kritik, unter anderem weil es nicht mehr der tatsächlichen Bevölkerungszusammensetzung entspricht. Die hat sich unter dem Strich zugunsten der Muslime verändert. Auch verfolgen die verschiedenen christlichen Konfessionen und Gruppierungen verschiedene Ansätze bei der Wahlrechtsreform.

Das "World Factbook" des CIA nennt Muslime mit 59,7 Prozent als größte Glaubensrichtung im Libanon. Deren überragende Mehrheit sind zu etwa gleichen Teilen Sunniten und Schiiten; dazu kommen Minderheiten von Alaviten und Drusen. Der Anteil der Christen betrug demnach zuletzt 39 Prozent; beim Zensus vor 85 Jahren waren es noch 54 Prozent.

Stärkste Gruppe mit schätzungsweise 21 Prozent an der Gesamtbevölkerung ist die im Land beheimatete maronitische Kirche.

https://www.domradio.de/themen/kirche-und-politik/2017-11-22/sensibler-ausgleich-zwischen-den-konfessionen-im-libanon

(* B P)

Lebanon is too small and necessary to let it fall into Iran's hands

Saudi Arabia’s desire to combat Iranian influence is in synchronization with the Trump administration’s new hard line policy on Iran, however in seeking to counter Iran and Hezbollah, further economic or military escalation by Saudi Arabia might destroy Lebanon and, in turn, actually work to empower Iran.

In many ways, Lebanon is the keystone of what holds the Middle East together. If Lebanon were to be engulfed in a regional proxy war, the consequences for U.S. national security and regional stability would be devastating. Hezbollah was born out of the instability brought on by the Lebanese civil war, and a situation which leads to more war in Lebanon will only enable Hezbollah to grow and Iran to further encroach.

The status quo before Hariri’s resignation is favorable to a situation where the government collapses and Israel or Saudi Arabia launches strikes inside the country. Israel especially has made no secret of its intent to lead a blow to Lebanon which would bring the entire country to its knees and destroy its infrastructure.

With over 2 million Syrian refugees in the country, Lebanon has struggled to accommodate a refugee population equal to nearly a half of its native population, which has resulted in exorbitant pressure on Lebanon’s resources. Further escalation will lead to these refugees, and hundreds of thousands of new Lebanese refugees, to scatter across the already unstable Middle East and Europe.

Lebanon is a small country, and in trying to target Hezbollah and its allies, an attack on Lebanon will equally damage Lebanon's Western-oriented Sunnis and Christians, driving moderates toward extremism and perhaps plunging Lebanon into sectarianism and civil war. Lebanon is the last bastion of co-existence in the region, where 18 officially recognized components live side by side in relative harmony.

The status quo in Lebanon is not ideal, however it is better than the outcome it seems like Saudi Arabia has been pushing for recently and the United States should work to restrain this. There is no easy way to fix the Hezbollah problem in Lebanon; however there are smarter ways to combat Hezbollah’s influence.

An American commitment to Lebanon’s security and stability is the best way to combat Iranian influence in Lebanon, preserve the mosaic of Lebanon’s diverse society and ensure regional stability.

http://thehill.com/opinion/international/361275-lebanon-is-too-small-and-necessary-to-let-fall-into-irans-hands

(* B P)

Don't Let the Saudis Destabilize Lebanon

Why Washington Should Restrain Riyadh

A cross the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is attempting to push back against Iran. Now, after its defeat in Syria, struggles in Yemen, and mixed record in Iraq, Riyadh is set to make Lebanon the next front in its conflict with Tehran.

Saudi Arabia’s target in Lebanon is Hezbollah, the powerful Shiite party with an old and deep alliance with Iran.

The Saudis see Hezbollah’s control of politics in Beirut as untenable. That is why, in a clear departure from past policy, they have decided to confront Hezbollah more actively by holding the Lebanese government responsible for the group’s regional adventurism—including in the Saudis’ own backyard in Yemen, where Hezbollah allegedly supports the Houthi rebels.

The first sign of punitive Saudi measures against Lebanon was the forced resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri on November 4, while Hariri was in Riyadh. The Saudis didn’t believe that Hariri, who had sought consensus with Hezbollah last year to ensure his own political survival, was willing or able to execute their new hardline policy on Hezbollah. So they compelled him to quit. But Saudi retribution might not stop here. Riyadh could also ramp up pressure on Hezbollah by pulling all Saudi deposits from Lebanese banks and expelling Lebanese nationals from Saudi territory, both of which would be detrimental to the country’s financial stability. Riyadh may assume that an internal crisis in Lebanon will distract Hezbollah, preventing it from expanding and deepening its involvement in other battlefields across the region.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/lebanon/2017-11-20/dont-let-saudis-destabilize-lebanon

(** B P)

What's next for Lebanon now that Hariri is back?

The prime minister's triumphant return to Beirut followed by the decision to suspend his resignation breathed new life into the Hariri dynasty and the Lebanese oligarchy that embraced Saad. However, containing the long-term repercussions of Lebanon's latest political turmoil will largely depend on the relation between that dynasty and its enabler. It is a relation shaped by four factors: the shakeup in Saudi politics, the Saudi-Iranian regional enmity, Lebanon's internal dynamics and the struggle within Hariri's Future Movement (al-Mustaqbal).

It is now increasingly apparent that Hariri's abrupt resignation was about Saudi, not Lebanese politics. Riyadh treated Lebanon's prime minister as a Saudi citizen whose businesses have long been under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's intense scrutiny. What will Riyadh do about Saudi Oger, the construction business empire that Rafiq Hariri built, is crucial, as Saad Hariri must secure financial resources to sustain the dynasty and fund his election campaign in Lebanon?

Furthermore, no matter what Saad Hariri will say or do moving forward, the prevailing narrative in Lebanon might continue to be that the new Saudi leadership holds sway over him, whether through his business or immediate family still remaining in the Kingdom.

While disengaging from Saudi Arabia is not an option for the Lebanese prime minister, Hariri won by points against Riyadh.

The attempt to transfer leadership to his brother Bahaa failed, the Lebanese government did not fall yet, the Saudi policy suffered a reputational harm in Lebanon while Hariri's popularity increased and the hawkish Saudi minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan was reportedly removed from handling the Lebanese portfolio.

Al-Sabhan, who went silent after his return from Washington on November 12, was reportedly replaced by a team that includes former Saudi ambassador to Beirut, Ali Awad Assiri, who is on good terms with a wide spectrum of Lebanese politicians. Ultimately, however, Riyadh will decide whether to empower Hariri or not, and what is reasonably expected from him moving forward.

The second factor is the Saudi use of the Iranian threat as a distraction from its domestic turmoil and its genuine frustration with Tehran's expanding influence in the Levant and Yemen. The US administration looked at the Saudi move in Lebanon as a challenge to its regional approach, the Israeli government has no plans to open a dormant front in south Lebanon to please Riyadh and Iran felt comfortable enough to weather the Saudi surge – by Joe Macaron

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/lebanon-hariri-171123102627236.html

(* A P)

Libanon: Hariri gibt Verhandlungen eine Chance

Nur Stunden nach seiner Rückkehr nach Beirut hat der Premier seinen Rücktritt vorläufig ausgesetzt. Einfache Lösungen für die extrem komplexe Situation zeichnen sich nicht ab

Aoun hatte den im saudischen Königreich angekündigten Rücktritt bisher als nicht verfassungskonform abgelehnt. In einer flammenden Rede vor Tausenden seiner jubelnden Anhänger kündigte Hariri an, er werde bleiben und quer durchs Land reisen, um für Freiheit, Stabilität und Souveränität zu kämpfen. Er rief die Bürger zur Einheit auf und skandierte unter tosendem Applaus: "Libanon first!" In dem sich zuspitzenden Machtkampf zwischen Saudi-Arabien und dem Iran hatte sich Riad den Libanon ausgesucht, um den Einfluss der von Teheran unterstützten schiitischen Hisbollah zu brechen.

Für Zündstoff sorgt aber der militärische Flügel, insbesondere seit dessen Kämpfer nicht nur der israelische Bedrohung entgegenstehen – ursprünglich ihre Existenzberechtigung –, sondern in regionalen Konflikten in Syrien, im Irak und im Jemen engagiert sind.

Dieses Engagement im Ausland widerspricht den Absprachen zwischen dem prosyrischen und dem proiranischen Lager, die im Oktober 2016 nach einer Blockade von 29 Monaten zur Wahl von Aoun zum Präsidenten und Hariri zum Regierungschef führten. Welche Garantien oder Zusagen, dass diese Distanzierung zu regionalen Konflikten eingehalten wird, Hariri jetzt erhalten hat, wird sich in den weiteren Gesprächen über eine neue politische Verständigung zeigen. Erste Hinweise sind einer versöhnlichen Rede von Hisbollah-Chef Hassan Nasrallah zu entnehmen. Er kündigte an, dass der Kampf gegen die Jihadisten des IS im Irak nun zu Ende sei und die Kämpfer wieder in die Heimat zurückkehren könnten.

https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000068301100/libanon-hariri-gibt-verhandlungen-eine-chance

(* A P)

Why Hezbollah wants Hariri back in Lebanon

Hezbollah’s approach to the crisis was summarized in a speech on Nov. 10 by Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah focused on several important points, mainly the illegitimacy of Hariri’s resignation under coercion and the continuity of the current government, while warning against any Israeli attack and Saudi attempts to create a rift within the Lebanese population.

A prominent Shiite analyst who is also close to the Saudi circles and who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity believes that the resignation, whether coerced or otherwise, had been an unfortunate move by Riyadh. “Hezbollah has won even more legitimacy from this incident by positioning itself as the defender of Lebanese sovereignty. The party’s reputation was in no way affected by the measure; on the contrary, it hurt the Sunnis more than anyone,” he said. On Nov. 11, thousands of Lebanese participating in the country's annual marathon carried banners asking for the return of Hariri.

Nasrallah rode the wave of renewed Hariri popularity, calling in his speech for the need for the prime minister to return to Lebanon and condemning “the blatant Saudi interference in Lebanese affairs.”

For Hosam Matar, who specializes in international relations and Hezbollah affairs, the party wants to maintain the compromise achieved with the election in 2016 of President Michel Aoun, which led to the formation of a 30-member Cabinet led by Hariri. “This government reinvigorated the political process with the budget vote and maintained a positive feeling by ensuring a relative stability in the country. Hezbollah wants that,” Matar told Al-Monitor.

Yet unless Hariri comes back and is able to achieve a new deal on distancing Lebanon from regional conflicts as he requested in a televised interview on Nov. 12, operating with a caretaker government will throw the country into another political vacuum — one that may be prolonged by the hesitancy of Sunni politicians to form a new government with parliamentary elections scheduled for May 2018, which also might be postponed.

While a political vacuum is something Lebanon and Hezbollah are used to, the party is more concerned by security threats.

https://al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/lebanon-hariri-resign-hezbollah-war-iran.html

(* A P)

HARIRIS RÜCKKEHR: Der Libanon geht vor!

Saad al Hariri ist zurück im Libanon. Das krisengebeutelte Land deutet das als Zeichen der Entspannung. Aber was ist der wahre Grund für die Heimkehr?

Der Libanon ist schon lange ein Schauplatz regionaler Konflikte. Ein selbstkritischer Regierungsfunktionär hat es einmal folgendermaßen formuliert: „Die politischen Führer und auch ihre Anhänger beschweren sich ständig, Spielball fremder Mächte zu sein. Aber sobald irgendetwas nicht in ihrem Sinne läuft, rufen sie sofort ihre ausländischen Förderer zu Hilfe.“

Hariris Heimkehr ist ein deutliches Zeichen der Entspannung. Seine Rücktrittserklärung hatte nicht nur die Libanesen geschockt. Im Ausland herrschte Sorge, die Spannungen könnten weiter steigen und eine zerstörerische Eigendynamik entwickeln. Vom drastisch erhöhten Risiko eines baldigen Waffengangs mit Israel war sogar die Rede. Jetzt zeigen sich Diplomaten erleichtert, dass offenbar ein für alle Seiten gesichtswahrender Weg gefunden wurde, die Krise einzudämmen.

Noch immer wird darüber gerätselt, was die Führung in Riad mit der Operation Hariri bezwecken wollte oder will. Nach seiner Heimkehr stellen sich Beobachter überdies die Frage, was Saudi-Arabien angeboten wurde, um Hariri einen Rücktritt vom Rücktritt zumindest zu ermöglichen. In Beirut ist von einem Handel die Rede, der Riad eine Mäßigung der Hizbullah in Aussicht stellt, die auch ihr Engagement in regionalen Konfliktherden betreffen soll.

Gemessen an den jüngsten Reden ihres Anführers Hassan Nasrallah, dürfte die Hizbullah zu maßgeblichen Zugeständnissen allerdings kaum bereit sein.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/hariri-zurueck-im-libanon-15305249.html

cp4 Propaganda

(A P)

Lebanon: Is cheat-and-retreat back on the menu for Hezbollah?

The Arab League holds an emergency meeting on Lebanon. France and the US agree to work together to contain Hezbollah. Russia indicates support for compromise. Iran’s official government invites everyone to “joint diplomatic efforts” while the unofficial government promises fire and brimstone for those who try to curb Hezbollah.
Recent Middle East headlines remind me of “The Adventures of Emir Arsalan The Famous,” a popular Persian picaresque novel written in the 19th century.

The tactic that Tehran used in these cases is known in diplomacy as “cheat-and-retreat.” When your back is against the wall, you sign whatever your adversaries want. Then, because your adversaries do not have the same attention span, they will soon forget what you signed. Then you can resume your shenanigans until the next crisis.
It is a tactic that has saved Hezbollah several times in the past three decades.

Hezbollah may not be the most dangerous weapon Tehran possesses, but it is certainly an element of instability in the region. And as far as Iran is concerned, using Hezbollah is a relatively low-cost strategy, requiring around $800 million every year, according to an analysis of Iran’s budgetary allocations.

While it has avoided confronting Israel in over a decade, Tehran has been putting Hezbollah to work in other theaters — including Iraq, Syria and Yemen — during that time as part of a strategy to dominate Arab states already weakened by civil war and/or foreign intervention

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1198781

cp5 Mehr / More

(* B)

Film: Drohnenflug über das Flüchtlingslager Shatila in Beirut, Libanon

Über 1.5 Millionen Menschen aus dem kriegszerstörten Syrien haben im Libanon Zuflucht gesucht, etwa im Flüchtlingslager Shatila in Beirut. Schutz vor den Bomben haben sie hier zwar gefunden – doch Perspektiven nicht: Die Flüchtlinge leben unter prekären Bedingungen, ohne Erwerbs- und Bildungsmöglichkeiten, ohne ausreichende gesundheitliche Versorgung, ohne Chance auf Integration vor Ort, aber auch ohne Perspektive auf Rückkehr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAYNjwjFPnE

und

(*B)

Vergessen im Nirgendwo

Ein Flüchtlingscamp am Rande der libanesischen Stadt. Diese Menschen haben ihre Heimat verlassen mit der Hoffnung auf eine bessere Zukunft. Diese ist aber ungewiss.

Diese Kinder wurden in eine ungewisse Zukunft geboren. Ihre Eltern flohen vor Krieg und Elend und landeten am Rande der Stadt Tripoli. Mitten im Nirgendwo, zwischen Schlamm und undichten Planen, leben sie allein gelassen auf kargem Land. Der Berliner Casey Fuchs ist in die Heimat seines Urgroßvaters gefahren und fand ein heruntergekommenes Flüchtlingscamp, in dem es an allem fehlt. (Fotos)

http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/2017-11/tripoli-libanon-fluechtlinge-fs

(* B)

Film: Mein Beirut - Stadt der Kontraste

„Paris des Nahen Ostens“ – so wird Beirut die Hauptstadt des Libanon häufig genannt. Und das zu recht: Beirut ist eine der modernsten Städte des Nahen Ostens. Und doch blickt die Stadt auf eine harte Vergangenheit zurück. Gezeichnet vom Bürgerkrieg schauen viele Beiruter heute trotzdem optimistisch in die Zukunft. In der Web-Doku „Mein Beirut“ zeigen Enheimische ihr ganz persönliches Bild der Stadt voller Kontraste.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=xaWS8e2nsnk

(* B)

„Christen müssen im Nahen Osten bleiben”

Maronitischer Bischof Michel Aoun über die aktuelle Lage im Libanon

Verstärkt durch die aktuellen Turbulenzen um Ministerpräsident Hariri sehen Beobachter den Libanon am Rande eines Bürgerkriegs. Denn durch die starke Zuwanderung sunnitischer Muslime ist das mühsam gewahrte soziale Gleichgewicht des Landes gestört.

Darüber und warum der Libanon ein Vorbild für den Nahen Osten sein kann, hat Joop Kopmann von KIRCHE IN NOT USA mit Bischof Aoun gesprochen.

JOOP KOOPMAN:Herr Bischof, wie ist die aktuelle Lage der Flüchtlinge?
BISCHOF MICHEL AOUN: In jeder Stadt und jedem Dorf im Libanon leben Flüchtlinge. Viele sind in Privatunterkünften untergekommen und konnten die Lager verlassen. Flüchtlinge erhalten Unterstützung von internationalen Organisationen wie KIRCHE IN NOT.

Aber sie suchen dringend Arbeit. Das ist offiziell nicht erlaubt. So blüht die Schwarzarbeit mit sehr niedrigen Löhnen. Die Folgen spüren alle: Die libanesische Bevölkerung wird ärmer.

Ist die hohe Zahl sunnitischer Flüchtlinge im Libanon eine Gefahr für die Stabilität des Landes?
Die Aufnahme einer großen Zahl von Sunniten kann das soziale und politische Gefüge in Gefahr bringen. Der Libanon muss das Gleichgewicht wahren. Wir brauchen hier eine Lösung. Sonst sehe ich die Gefahr, dass viele Christen den Libanon verlassen könnten.

Zurzeit sind wir etwa 38 Prozent Christen, 62 Prozent der Bevölkerung sind Muslime, davon jeweils zur Hälfte Sunniten und Schiiten, die Flüchtlinge nicht eingerechnet. Die Christen dürfen nicht zu einer kleinen Minderheit werden.

Unabhängig von der Flüchtlingskrise: Bestehen im Libanon Spannungen zwischen Christen und Muslimen?
Nein, zwischen beiden Religionsgemeinschaften herrscht seit Jahrzehnten Harmonie. Diese Kultur der Toleranz ist in den Herzen der Libanesen tief verankert.

http://www.kirche-in-not.de/aktuelle-meldungen/2017/11-24-libanon-christen-muessen-im-nahen-osten-bleiben-bischof-michel-aoun-ueber-die-aktuelle-lage = http://www.kath.net/news/61811

Earlier reporting:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/libanon-mosaik-lebanon-mosaic-4

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

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-360-yemen-war-mosaic-360

20:51 26.11.2017
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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