Libanon-Mosaik / Lebanon Mosaic 6

Libanon in den Medien: Libanon im Konflikt Iran-Saudi Arabien. Liban. Parteien suchen Dialog. Diskussion um Rolle der Hisbollah / Lebanon in Saudi-Iran conflict. Lebanese parties want dialogue
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 Mehr / More

Klassifizierung / Classification

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**

*

(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

(* B)

Die libanesische „Achillesferse“ des Iran

Der Libanon ist zu einer Geisel der Konfrontation zwischen dem Iran und Saudi-Arabien geworden. Dies schreibt der Sonderberichterstatter Geworg Mirsajan in seinem aktuellen Beitrag für das russische Magazin „Expert“. Manche Fachleute schließen ihm zufolge sogar nicht aus, dass im „Land der Zedern“ ein Bürgerkrieg ausbrechen könnte. Schon wieder.

Jemand könnte wohl glauben, es wäre sehr riskant für die Saudis, den Spitzenpolitiker Hariri zu opfern. Doch in Wahrheit war diese „Dame“ eher nominal. Erstens war Riad aus politischer Sicht enttäuscht von ihm: Als die Saudis der Bildung der Koalitionsregierung im Libanon Ende 2016 zustimmten, hofften sie, dass Hariri einen Ausgleich für die Hisbollah und deren Verbündete bilden würde, doch dieser ist dabei gescheitert. Präsident Aoun übernahm die Kontrolle über die Streitkräfte, die im Sommer mehrere schwere Schläge gegen die sunnitischen terroristischen Gruppierungen führten, darunter gegen die al-Nusra-Front und den „Islamischen Staat“ (IS). Dadurch wurden die saudischen Waffenlieferungen nach Syrien enorm erschwert.

Mohammed bin Salman hätte Hariri seine Schwäche vorspielen können, aber dieser hatte ihn zuvor quasi verraten. Denn es ist allgemein bekannt, dass Hariri sich nicht am Clan des Königs Salman, sondern am Clan des früheren Königs Abdullah orientierte. Das ist eigentlich kein Wunder, denn laut Gerüchten ist Saad Hariri ein Enkel des verstorbenen Königs (es heißt, dass sein Vater Rafik ein außerehelicher Sohn Abdullahs war). Also hatte der impulsive König Salman, der sich um Disziplin in seinem Haus kümmert, offenbar auch persönliche Gründe, den nutzlosen Hariri zu opfern.

Die Hisbollah-Führung sah ein, in welche Richtung der Wind bläst, und zeigte sich sofort nahezu pazifistisch: „Wir rufen alle Seiten auf, ruhig zu bleiben, Wege für den Dialog offen zu halten und Straßenkonfrontationen zu vermeiden“, hieß es in einer Erklärung des Hisbollah-Chefs Hassan Nasrallah. Außerdem verwiesen die schiitischen (und andere) Führer des Libanons darauf, dass Hariri seine Erklärungen unfreiwillig abgegeben haben könnte. „Es ist offensichtlich, dass diese Entscheidung unter starkem Druck seitens der Saudis getroffen wurde, weil die stabile Situation im Libanon und die erfolgreiche Arbeit seiner Koalitionsregierung Hariri keinen Anlass gaben, seinen Posten zu verlassen“, so Nasrallah.

Von welcher „Einmischung des Iran in die Angelegenheiten arabischer Länder“ kann die Rede sein, wenn man bedenkt, dass sich Hariri bei seinem Treffen mit einem Vertreter des iranischen geistigen Vorstehers, Ayatollah Ali Chamenei, bei Teheran für dessen Unterstützung bei der Stabilisierung der Region bedankte? Von welchem Attentat kann die Rede sein, wenn man bedenkt, dass er nach seiner Abreise aus Riad kein einziges Mal die libanesischen Geheimdienste über seinen Verdacht informierte?

Die libanesischen Führer schlossen daraus, dass Hariris Rede nicht in seinem Arbeitszimmer, sondern in Riad geschrieben worden war. Und im Libanon begann etwas, was die Saudis gar nicht erwartet hatten: Praktisch die ganze Bevölkerung ging auf die Straßen und verlangte die Befreiung „unseres Saads“ und seine Heimkehr.

Die Konsolidierung des Libanons wurde für die Saudis zum ersten Schlag – aber nicht zum einzigen.

Natürlich hat diese Geschichte äußerst negative Folgen für das Image des Regierungschefs, und Hariris Schwächung bedeutet automatisch die Schwächung Saudi-Arabiens. Dadurch könnte sich Riad allerdings zu noch radikaleren Schritten gegenüber dem „Land der Zedern“ gezwungen sehen. Denn der Libanon bleibt auch weiterhin das schwächste Glied der iranischen „Achse“ im Nahen Osten – von Geworg Mirsajan

https://de.sputniknews.com/politik/20171129318482991-die-libanesische-achillesferse-des-iran/

(* B)

Saudi-Iranian cold war in Middle East heats up in Lebanon

The country where Saudi Arabia most recently decided to take a stand against Iran and start pushing back is Lebanon, which has an unfortunate long and bloody history of serving as the arena for proxy global and regional conflicts. Instead of confronting Iran directly, Saudi Arabia has chosen to pressure Iran through what it considers its most potent proxy, Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Further complicating things is a commonality of interests between a Trump administration eager to ramp up pressure on Iran and a more aggressive Saudi foreign policy egging Trump on and spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This intersection of strategic imperatives by is dangerously ill-thought out and guaranteed to result in a raft of unintended consequences counter to U.S. national interests.

While questions abounded about the Hariri resignation, what was certain is that the Saudis wanted Hariri out of Lebanon's political picture because he refused to confront Hezbollah directly, thereby providing them with a measure of official legitimacy. Removing Hariri also would have shattered the Lebanese coalition government, which the Saudis hoped would undermine Iranian influence by in effect removing Hezbollah ministers from power, and the legitimacy being in power accorded them.

The New York Times reported that Hariri justified this reversal by saying that he now wanted to hold a dialogue with other Lebanese political leaders to address "divisive issues and their effects on Lebanon's relations with the Arab brothers," and "protect" Lebanon from "the surrounding wars and fires." What was left unsaid but understood by Hariri was that dissolving the coalition government under Saudi pressure would dangerously destabilize his country.

It is too early to conclude whether Hariri's return to Lebanon and the suspending of his resignation was a blow to Saudi plans to remove him, or whether his resignation had triggered behind-the-scenes negotiations with Hezbollah and Iran, with the aim of reining in Hezbollah's influence politically inside Lebanon and its military adventurism outside the country.

What can be concluded however is that while Saudi Arabia may have the power to remove a prime minister in another country who is a political ally, doing so backfired and united nearly all Lebanese — who were made to feel their sovereignty was infringed upon — behind their government, even if it does include Hezbollah.

In the absence of regional tranquility and realistic options to disarm Hezbollah and achieve true sovereignty for Lebanon, the only option for the Lebanese is to remain united and cognizant of the serious dangers facing them if they allow any outside power to divide them. The very future of their country is at stake – by Ra'fat Al-Dajani

https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/ncr-today/saudi-iranian-cold-war-middle-east-heats-lebanon

(** B)

Did Kushner Keep Tillerson in the Dark on Saudi-Lebanon Move?

Efforts by Prince Salman to start a regional crisis backfired, but the drama has left the secretary of state seething.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has accomplished the impossible: he’s actually united Lebanon, though perhaps only briefly.

The tale of how the 32-year-old bin Salman (or MbS, as he’s called), accomplished this is a tad complex, but it’s worth the telling [retelling the Hariri story very well, a pleasure to read]

Hariri was suddenly Lebanon’s poster boy, a martyr-in-the-making. Which is to say that, within days of his resignation, it was clear that Saudi Arabia’s attempt to paint Hezbollah as “destabilizing Lebanon” had backfired: Mohammad bin Salman’s insistence that Hariri take a tougher stance against Iran and Hezbollah had made unlikely allies of Lebanon’s squabbling factions. Those plotting against Lebanon weren’t in Tehran, the Lebanese public decided, they were in Riyadh. But the Lebanese weren’t the only ones who weren’t buying the Saudi line. Neither was the U.S. State Department.

Tillerson, they say, had a “long and pointed discussion” on the Hariri situation with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on November 7, after having directed Acting Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs, David Satterfield, to “walk point” on the issue.

But according to a senior Middle East diplomat with whom TAC spoke, Tillerson wasn’t only angered by Saudi Arabia’s failure to give the U.S. a heads-up on their Lebanon plans, he suspected that the White House knew of the plan for Hariri ahead of time, but failed to tell him.

“Kushner and MbS aren’t just close, they’re very, very close,” the senior Middle East diplomat told TAC. “I suppose there’s an outside possibility that Kushner was as surprised about the Hariri move as Tillerson, but I really doubt it. It’s unimaginable that bin Salman didn’t tell Kushner what he was planning.” But this same diplomat dismissed the notion that bin Salman asked for Kushner’s approval of the Saudi initiative—that Kushner “green lighted” it. “That’s not the way this works,” he said. “I doubt that the Saudis needed a green light. They don’t think they need anyone’s permission to do what they want, they take it for granted that Kushner supports them. Their calculation is that he has more influence with the president than Rex Tillerson.”

By the end of the summer, the Saudis were determined to get rid of the prime minister and replace him with his older brother, Bahaa, a Saudi resident and Saad competitor who has long wanted to replace his brother as head of the Future Movement. “This was a plot and months in the making,” a senior aide to Lebanese President Michel Aoun told The American Conservative in an email. “Saad refused to fall in line with Saudi Arabia’s plan to confront the Iranians. So MbS decided to make him pay.”

But Hariri had not only run afoul of Mohammed bin Salman, he’d also crossed Thamer Al Sabhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Gulf State Affairs, a fervid, and MbS partisan. At key points in the crisis, and even as Mohammed bin Salman remained silent, Al Sabhan had issued threats against Iran, Hezbollah—and Saad Hariri. His most outspoken public statement came in the midst of the Hariri crisis, on November 7—and was aimed at the Lebanese prime minister.

November 10, as it turns out, marked the most significant moment in the Hariri crisis. On the day the Tillerson statement was issued, Tillerson’s point man on the issue, David Satterfield, had a meeting with Thamer Al Sabhan at the State Department. Al Sabhan was in Washington for meetings, which included one at the White House. The Satterfield-Al Sabhan meeting did not go well, according to the senior diplomat with whom we spoke. In fact, the description is an understatement.

“The meeting was ugly, confrontational,” a former ambassador who received a “read out of the meeting” explained to us. “Satterfield laid down the law—the U.S. did not support the Saudi initiative, thought that what the Saudis were doing was destabilizing, wanted Saad to remain as prime minister and would not support Bahaa as his replacement.”

More crucially, Tillerson’s views are sharply at odds with a White House that has shown a willingness to take Saudi claims at face value – by Mark Perry

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/kushner-kept-tillerson-in-the-dark-on-saudi-lebanon-move/

(* B)

Saudi Arabia’s Mysterious Upheaval

Stung by an apparent defeat in Syria, Saudi Arabia’s aggressive Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has arrested rivals within the kingdom’s elite and provoked a political crisis in Lebanon

On Nov. 20, after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri left Saudi Arabia and resurfaced in France, I spoke with Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Connecticut. (Hariri has since returned to Lebanon where he remains prime minister at least for the time being.)

Prashad is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books and the Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is the author of 20 books including The Death of a Nation and The Future of the Arab Revolution.

Dennis Bernstein: Do you think this is driven by the same forces behind the Crown Prince’s arrest of key businessmen and political figures?

Vijay Prashad: It is important to point out that the crisis in Lebanon is both internally and externally generated. It is internally generated because Lebanon has a curious sectarian constitution where the various sects in the country–the Sunnis, the Shia, the Christians–have divided power.

One of the very important players in the divided government is Hezbollah. Hezbollah is, of course, very close to the Iranian government and has been an adversary of Saad Hariri’s and his father’s Future Movement.

But the external pressure from Saudi Arabia is much more important. Since the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has seen Iran stretch its wings in the region. It has tried various strategies to essentially put Iran back into its borders. The war in Syria was one such episode, as is the fight in Yemen and the attempt to strangle Qatar. Now, having failed in each of these attempts, Saudi Arabia is going after what is perhaps the most sensitive country in the region, which is Lebanon.

By forcing Mr. Hariri to resign and creating a political crisis inside Lebanon, the Saudis want to see a block form inside Lebanon that will try to push Hezbollah out of the political consensus. This is not going to happen, but it is raising tension in the region.

Dennis Bernstein: This is not a moderation in Saudi policy, as it is being portrayed in the Western press.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/28/saudi-arabias-mysterious-upheaval/

(* A)

Hezbollah Chieftain Nasrallah a ‘Target’ for Israel in ‘Next War in Lebanon,’ IDF General Says

The head of Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy Shia terrorist organization in Lebanon, will be a “target” for Israel in a future war on its northern border, an IDF General has stated in an interview with reporters in the southern port city of Eilat.

“Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is an IDF target in the next war in Lebanon,” Brig-Gen. Ronen Manelis declared on Sunday. “It is clear that if he dies, it will influence the [military] campaign.”

Manelis said that Israel was actively seeking to avoid a conflict in Lebanon, disclosing that the IDF “makes daily efforts, both overt and covert, in an effort to push back the next war.” Israel and Hezbollah have not gone to war since 2006.

https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/28/hezbollah-chieftain-nasrallah-a-target-for-israel-in-next-war-in-lebanon-idf-general-says/

My comment: In other countries, they call this type of planning “terrorism”.

(* B)

Donald Trump is reshaping the Middle East. Will it work?

Tensions are building between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The consequences could be disastrous.

In trying to reckon with that "disaster," Trump seems to have set his stall in Riyadh, tacitly encouraging the kingdom's ambitious crown prince to shake up Saudi foreign policy and embark on a dramatic series of confrontations across the region. Two articles published over the weekend show how battle lines in the Middle East may be hardening as a result.

Reporting from Lebanon, my Washington Post colleagues examined how the region's political turmoil has actually boosted Hezbollah. The powerful Iran-backed Shiite organization was part of a coalition government led by a Christian president, Michael Aoun, and a Sunni prime minister, Saad Hariri — at least until Hariri resigned during a visit to the Saudi capital this month, a move many observers think was forced by Riyadh.

"The Saudis hoped that Hariri's resignation would create an electroshock . . . that the Cabinet would be immediately dissolved, and Hezbollah and its allies would have to step down from ministries and other important positions of power," Raphaël Lefèvre, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, said to my colleagues. "Of course, this never happened."

Instead, after finally returning to Beirut last week, Hariri "suspended" his resignation and held meetings with his coalition partners. That doesn't mean everything is back to normal: On Monday, he reiterated his threat to quit if Hezbollah doesn't agree to a new power-sharing agreement in the country, although the details of such a new deal remain murky. But the political maneuvering has hardly strengthened Saudi Arabia's hand in its rivalry with Iran.

Indeed, the opposite may be the case. Hezbollah is gaining credibility as an anchor of stability in Lebanon, a state racked by divisions and a history of strife.

For that reason, Hezbollah struck a calm and conciliatory tone after Hariri's resignation.

But at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo last week, Saudi Arabia successfully pressured the regional body into issuing a communique condemning Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization," ratcheting up the pressure on the Lebanese organization and its Iranian sponsor. A military escalation would have dire consequences.

"It is unrealistic of Saudi leaders and the Trump administration to expect that it can be supplanted by a popular Lebanese groundswell against it or removed by a foreign military force without causing catastrophic damage to Lebanon," wrote Mohamad Bazzi of New York University – by Ishaan Tharoor

https://www.newsday.com/opinion/commentary/donald-trump-saudi-arabia-middle-east-1.15231415

(*A)

Is Saudi crown prince winning or losing in the Middle East?

By postponing his resignation, announced under seeming duress in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri struck a blow in support of Lebanese sovereignty and against interference in his country’s affairs by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Last week, we wrote that Hariri was “his own witness in a court of conscience” about what took place in Saudi Arabia, and what would happen next. If he had followed through on Prince Mohammed's diktat to resign and rally opposition to Iran and Hezbollah, in Lebanese politics, a popular backlash would have likely been the result, costing Hariri, and those who might have backed him, a catastrophic loss of face. Nobody was buying that you can be a champion of “sovereignty” at the behest of a regional power. And Hezbollah, despite its now frequent characterization as a "proxy" of Iran, is a Lebanese political party with its own popular and formidable constituency.

With Hariri’s decision to stay on, the center holds in Lebanon, at least for now

The final chapter is not yet written. As the crown prince stumbles in the region, Iran continues to roll. The prince’s intervention in Lebanon has revealed, again, the limits of his influence and the costs of his impulsive regional policies, which redound to Iran’s benefit.

Yemen, for example, remains a failure and quagmire for the kingdom — the “worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world,” Bruce Riedel writes, with 7 million people on the verge of starvation.

“Riyadh does not have a strategy to win the war,“ Riedel continues.

Giorgio Cafiero adds that conflict in Yemen offers the Islamic State “new opportunities and grievances to exploit as the internationally recognized central government remains entirely ineffectual. Should IS-Yemen lure more highly trained and battle-hardened fighters from the Levant, the local offshoot of IS could become an increasingly ascendant force to be reckoned with in southern Yemen, adding new dimensions of complexity and instability to the country’s civil war and growing famine threat.”

The kingdom’s isolation of Qatar has undermined Gulf Cooperation Council unity, another windfall for Iran. Cafiero explains the limitations of the “Anti-Terror Quartet” of Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed’s record of frustration may have implications for any perceived gains from the now open secret of an emerging Saudi-Israeli entente to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement and counter Iran. Ben Caspit writes, “Peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia is not about to break out anytime soon. On the other hand, Israel is an unofficial member of the Sunni alliance.

If the Trump administration is looking to back a winner in the Middle East, then it might think again about the seeming unconditional love offered Riyadh.

The courage and example of the Lebanese people to stand for sovereignty and against interference cannot be undersold. The country cannot escape its geography, at the crossroads of the Saudi-Iranian and Israeli-Iranian regional fault lines, and with over 1.5 million Syrian refugees within its borders. The trend, and pulse, of Lebanon, cannot be denied or ignored. We suggested back in 2014 that an exciting new post-sectarian social contract in Lebanon may be emerging, writing that “the failures and dashed expectations of the uprisings in Egypt and Syria, which quickly fell prey to regional and ideological agendas and violence, and Lebanon’s own tragic past, could make it an incubator for a new approach to governance that would allow Lebanon to realize its potential, rather than fall victim to the rhetoric and false promise of what was once known as the Arab Spring.”

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/lebanon-saudi-hariri-mohammed-bin-salman-iran.html

cp2 Ministerpräsident Hariri / Prime Minister Hariri

Siehe auch / Look at cp1, cp3

(A)

Hariri’s Anti-Iran Stance Aimed at Appeasing Saudis

Aparliamentarian believes Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri is under Saudi pressure to take positions he does not believe in, citing his latest remarks targeting Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah on Monday.

Morteza Saffari Natanzi made the statement in a talk with ICANA on the same day, opposing Hariri's remarks in an interview with French broadcaster CNews alleging the interference of Iran and Hezbollah in the affairs of Arab countries.

The lawmaker said Hariri, a dual Lebanese-Saudi national, is apparently trying to appease his long-time patrons in the Saudi monarchy.

"The Lebanese premier is trying to keep Saudis satisfied, but this does mean he really believes in what he says," said Saffari who is a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

The lawmaker said Hariri has been friendly toward Iran in closed-door meetings, in contrast with his current anti-Iran positions.

"Hariri's stance in private conversations with Iranian diplomats is in stark contrast with what he is saying now," said Saffari, himself a former diplomat.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/76968/hariri-s-anti-iran-stance-aimed-at-appeasing-saudis

Remark: An opinion from Iran.

(* B)

Report: Hariri’s financial empire is collapsing

The construction empire of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is crumbling according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Hariri’s political career and his business empire have been built on decades of support from the Saudi royal family. Both are now said to be collapsing.

Saudi Oger Ltd, the company owned by the Hariri family, closed its operations in the Kingdom this summer after the Saudi royal family cut spending on large construction projects. The company, reported WSJ, now relies on the Saudi government to pay millions of dollars in wages owed to former employees.

The precarious situation of Hariri’s business empire is suggested to be intertwined with the announcement of his recent resignation in Riyadh.

The Saudi Kingdom’s influence on the Hariri family stretches back to the 1980s when Rafic Hariri – father of Saad Hariri – made his fortune after moving to Saudi Arabia from Lebanon as a teenager.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171128-report-hariris-financial-empire-is-collapsing/

(* A )

Hariri: Lebanon cannot do anything about Hezbollah

Lebanon’s prime minister said in an interview Sunday that providing a solution to Hezbollah’s arms is a regional matter and Lebanon “cannot do anything about the issue”.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri told a Saudi magazine that he blamed Iran for using Hezbollah to destabilize Lebanon.

“The solution for Hezbollah’s arms is a regional solution, not a domestic one. For that, we [Lebanon] cannot do anything about the issue.”

“Hezbollah does not have the ability to manage a country. It’s strength comes from the arms provided by Iran,” Hariri added.

He also rejected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s statement that no decision could be made in Lebanon without Iran’s involvement.

Rouhani cannot intervene what we want to do in Lebanon,

Hariri said.

Touching the years-long war in Syria, the premier said that Russia’s decision to intervene Syria has nothing to do with Bashar al-Assad’s fall.

“Iran had asked for intervention from Russia after they failed in Syria,” he added.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171127-hariri-lebanon-cannot-do-anything-about-hezbollah/

(* A)

Hariri will nur unter Bedingungen Ministerpräsident bleiben

Saad Hariri hat erneut mit seinem Rücktritt gedroht. Er wolle nur libanesischer Ministerpräsident bleiben, wenn sich die Hisbollah nicht in andere Länder einmische. Hariri fordert Neutralität in allen Konflikten.

Der libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad Hariri will sein Amt weiterführen, falls die Schiitenmiliz Hisbollah auf seine Forderungen eingeht. "Ich will als Premierminister bleiben", sagte er in einem Interview des französischen TV-Senders CNews. Er forderte, dass die an der libanesischen Einheitsregierung beteiligte Hisbollah sich nicht in andere arabische Länder einmischt: Er wolle die Neutralität des Libanongegenüber allen Konflikten.

Die Hisbollah sei in Syrien, im Irak, "und das ist wegen Iran", sagte Hariri in dem Interview. Der Journalist fragte ihn, ob er im Amt bleibe, falls die Hisbollah und Iran das von ihm vorgeschlagene neue politische Gleichgewicht akzeptieren. "Natürlich", antwortete Hariri. Nachfrage: "Aber falls sie sich weigern, gehen Sie?" - "Ja". Hariri beschrieb den Dialog mit der Hisbollah als "sehr positiv".

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/libanon-hariri-will-nur-unter-bedingungen-ministerpraesident-bleiben-a-1180611.html

(* A)

Hariri verlangt politische Neutralität der Hisbollah

Rücktritt vom Rücktritt: Der libanesische Ministerpräsident Hariri will im Amt bleiben – aber nur, wenn sich sein Land nicht mehr in die Konflikte der Region einmischt.

Der libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad Hariri hat die Neutralität der schiitischen Hisbollah zur Bedingung für seinen Verbleib im Amt gemacht. Er wolle keine politische Partei in seiner Regierung, die sich in Konflikte zwischen arabischen Staaten einmische, sagte Hariri dem französischen Sender CNews. "Ich warte auf die Neutralität, auf die wir uns in der Regierung verständigt haben. Man kann nicht eines sagen und etwas anderes tun."

Die Forderung nach der politischen Neutralität der Hisbollah ist nun seine jüngste Stellungnahme zu dem Machtkampf, der sich in der Region abzeichnet. Der Libanon gilt vielen Beobachtern dabei als Schauplatz eines Stellvertreterkonflikts zwischen dem sunnitischen Königreich Saudi-Arabien und dessen schiitischem Erzrivalen Iran, der den gesamten Nahen Osten destabilisieren könnte.

Auch Hariri schürte – unterstützt von Saudi-Arabien – Vorbehalte gegen Iran und Hisbollah.

http://www.zeit.de/politik/2017-11/libanon-saad-hariri-hisbollah-ruecktritt

(* A)

Hariri says will resign if Hezbollah doesn’t stay neutral

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will resign if the Hezbollah resistance movement refuses to remain “neutral.”

He said he would stay on as prime minister "if Hezbollah accepted to stick by the state policy of staying out of regional conflicts,” in remarks to French broadcaster CNews. “They know we have to remain neutral in the region,” he added.

“I don’t want a political party in my government that interferes in Arab countries against other Arab countries,” the premier said.

Hariri further said, “Lebanon cannot resolve a question like Hezbollah which is in Syria, Iraq, everywhere because of Iran. It is a regional political solution that needs to be done.”

Hariri also rejected claims that he had forcibly resigned. He said he had written his resignation statement himself, countering allegations that it has been handed to him.

The prime minister was also quoted by Lebanese sources as saying that he would keep to himself what happened in Saudi Arabia, implying that he did not feel free to expose what had actually transpired in the Arab kingdom.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/28/543731/Lebanon-Hariri-Hezbollah-Saudi-Arabia

(* A)

Hariri: What happened in Saudi stays in Saudi

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said that the events that unfolded over the past three weeks of his time in Saudi Arabia will remain undisclosed, emphasising that he does not wish to discuss the details of what happened to him during that period.

In an interview with French channel CNews on Monday, Hariri said he wanted to bring about a "positive shock" on the Lebanese people through the announcement of his resignation, stressing that there was no pressure on him to resign from Saudi Arabia.

In a televised speech, Hariri blamed interference in Lebanon by Iran and its Lebanese ally, the Hezbollah movement, for his decision to resign, adding that he feared an assassination attempt.

Referring to Hezbollah, Hariri said: "Iran's arm ... has managed to impose a fait accompli on Lebanon through the power of its weapons.

"They have built a state within a state."

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/hariri-happened-saudi-stays-saudi-171128062831431.html

(* B)

WHY LEBANON'S PRIME MINISTER SAAD HARIRI DISAPPEARED INTO THE ARMS OF SAUDI ARABIA

In retrospect, Hariri’s actions seem to be setting the stage for a political resurgence in Lebanon’s upcoming parliamentary elections, and initiating a regional effort to counter Iran and its “Resistance Axis.”

Hariri’s dramatic resignation arose from an awareness that he no longer inspires the confidence of his Lebanese Sunni base, and that will cost him in parliament—his pro-Western camp’s last holdout—in the upcoming May 2018 elections. For over a decade, he’s been consistently outmaneuvered by Hezbollah and its political allies even while in power. Worse yet, his concessions over the last two years have made him look like a polite fig-leaf for creeping Iranian domination of Lebanon, further eroding his Sunni support—a fact he bemoaned in a recent interview from Riyadh.

It was Hariri, after all, who crowned Hezbollah-allied Michel Aoun as president in October 2016. This was after fracturing his March 14 alliance by endorsingideologically pro-Syrian and pro-Hezbollah Sleiman Frangieh over his own political camp’s nominee almost a year earlier. Hariri also agreed to reassume the premiership over a cabinet dominated by Hezbollah and his allies, with his own March 14 partners taking either junior ministries or entirely out of government.

Hariri swallowed that bitter pill to end Lebanon’s then two-year presidential vacuum, which was benefiting Hezbollah by paralyzing the country and delegitimizing its institutions. He also likely thought the opportunist Aoun would at least curtail the Shiite group’s most egregious activities and keep Lebanon regionally neutral—either out of a sense of patriotic duty, or even debt to Hariri.

But, a year later, Hariri saw that gamble had clearly failed

The move was also a message to Hezbollah’s political allies, that they could no longer count on him as their palatable emissary to the West or Gulf States if they did not make their own concessions and steer Lebanon’s foreign policy back towards regional neutrality.

It has worked so far. The Lebanese street exploded with support for Hariri during his absence, and he has even attempted to capitalize on that abroad by encouraging Lebanese expatriates to vote in the upcoming elections.

Whether his gambit will succeed in the long run, however, remains to be seen.

http://www.newsweek.com/why-lebanons-prime-minister-saad-hariri-disappeared-arms-saudi-arabia-724223

My comment: This really is a strange interpretation of the events, as if this would have been an ingenious plan by Hariri himself to improve his political situation in Lebanon, while deceiving everybody: his fellow citizens, his supporters, the Lebanese public, French president Macron… Highly improbable!

(B)

Why did Hariri go to Cairo before returning home to Lebanon?

According to analysts contacted by Al-Monitor, Egypt has played an active role in calming the situation in Lebanon since the announcement of Hariri's resignation, stressing the need to spare the region new battlegrounds. In a press statement issued Nov. 9 on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum, Sisi stressed Egypt’s rejection of any Iranian interference in the Gulf region.

Tarek Fahmi, a political science professor at the American University of Cairo, told Al-Monitor that Hariri had visited Egypt before returning to Beirut, as he wanted to derive strength from central Arab parties in the face of Iran.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/egypt-role-crisis-lebanon-hariri-resignation-iran.html ,
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/egypt-role-crisis-lebanon-hariri-resignation-iran.html#ixzz4zlTr1q9A

cp3 Libanon in der Krise / Lebanon in crisis

(* B)

Libanons Premier Saad al-Hariri bleibt vorläufig im Amt, die Probleme bleiben auch.

Nun also doch: Ein wenig Iran-Schelte und warnende Worte an die Hisbollah, aber dennoch ein Verbleib im Amt. Der libanesische Ministerpräsident Saad al-Hariri hat seine Meinung geändert und will nun doch nicht zurücktreten. Einzige Bedingung: die Neutralität der schiitischen Hisbollah. Damit verschafft der Premier der ganzen Libanon-Causa, in der die Perser und die Saudis in Beirut um die Vorherrschaft der Region buhlen, eine Atempause.

Eigentlich müssten der Iran und die Hisbollah Interesse haben, Hariri politisch am Leben zu halten.

Dank seiner Bereitschaft, als politisches Feigenblatt zu dienen, konnten sie zuletzt große Erfolge verbuchen und Schlappen vermeiden. Der Libanon blieb von neuen Sanktionen verschont, die Washington unlängst gegen die Hisbollah verhängte. Eine Nachfolgerregierung, in der die Hisbollah eine noch größere Rolle spielen könnte, müsste allerdings mit Strafmaßnahmen rechnen. Statt wirtschaftlichem Aufschwung droht dem Land dann der Bankrott. Hariris Rücktritt sollte deshalb wohl die Hisbollah in die Enge treiben, nachdem diese im syrischen Bürgerkrieg siegreich war und Hariri im Libanon zu immer größeren Zugeständnissen zwang.

Dass Hariri mit Saad Sakija erstmals einen Botschafter nach Damaskus entsandte und der Libanon somit das Regime Assads anerkennt, dürfte Riad ebenfalls nicht freuen.

http://www.wienerzeitung.at/meinungen/analysen/931921_Kurze-Atempause.html

(* A)

"Burgfrieden" allein reicht nicht mehr im Libanon

Hariri erhöht den Druck auf die Hisbollah und verlangt deren Dissoziierung von regionalen Konflikten

Die interne Krise der fragilen libanesischen Konkordanzdemokratie – eine Balance zwischen disparaten politischen und religiösen Kräften – ist damit aber noch lange nicht gelöst. Seinen Rücktritt vom Rücktritt versah Hariri mit Bedingungen: Und sie gehen über den allgemeinen libanesischen Konsens, dass regionale Konflikte aus der libanesischen Politik herausgehalten werden müssen, hinaus.

"Ich will nicht, dass eine politische Partei meiner Regierung in arabischen Ländern gegen arabische Länder agiert", sagte Saad Hariri in einem Interview mit dem französischen TV-Sender CNews. Wen und was er damit meint, ist sonnenklar. In Syrien kämpft die Hisbollah an der Seite des Assad-Regimes.

Die Hisbollah, die Hariris Heimkehr als Beweis für die "Einheit des Libanon" feierte, hat kein Interesse an einer Regierungs krise und einer Destabilisierung des Libanon – der regionale Konflikte folgen könnten, in denen sie selbst Ziel ist. Es wird vielfach befürchtet, dass ein neuer Krieg zwischen Israel und Hisbollah bevorsteht. Aber was die Hisbollah für die Bewahrung des Status quo im Libanon zu geben bereit ist, hängt eben nicht nur von ihr ab, sondern auch von ihrem Meister in Teheran.

Bisher bestand die libanesische "Dissoziierungspolitik" im Wesentlichen darin, dass, was immer draußen geschah, zu Hause eine Art Burgfrieden herrschte:

Aber nun hat Hariri in den Raum gestellt, dass die Hisbollah von ihrer Rolle auf der iranischen "Achse des Widerstands" außerhalb des Libanon Abstand nehmen – oder die Regierung verlassen – muss. Oder er selbst geht.

Hariri machte in seinem Interview allerdings auch klar, dass die Probleme nicht im Libanon allein gelöst werden könnten: Es brauche eine regionale politische Lösung. Die ist allerdings nicht in Sicht, nur Riad und Teheran können sie finden.

Dreiertreffen

Präsident Michel Aoun versammelte am Montag die Chefs der libanesischen Parteien im Baabda-Palast, um über die "Verpflichtung zur Dissoziierungspolitik und Nichteinmischung in die Angelegenheiten arabischer Staaten" zu sprechen.

https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000068671645/burgfrieden-allein-reicht-nicht-mehr-im-libanon

(* A)

Crisis in Lebanon to End Soon, Hariri to Stay Prime Minister, Says President

Lebanese President Michel Aoun met with Saad Hariri shortly after he returned to Lebanon following a long absence. As a result of the meeting, it was announced that President Aung has not accepted the resignation of Hariri, since he promised to reconsider the decision to leave his post.

ROME (Sputnik) – Lebanon will soon see an end to its crisis and its prime minister, Saad Hariri, will remain in office, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Wednesday.

"Lebanon has always been a calm and secure country, it is known how to govern it. The crisis will end next week," Aoun told La Stampa newspaper in an interview.

There is "a broad agreement" among all Lebanese political forces regarding Hariri’s decision to stay in office, the Lebanese president added.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201711291059539626-lebanon-crisis-president/

(* A)

Hariri Says Resignation Crisis Ends Next Week if 'Positivity' Continues

Prime Minister Saad Hariri reiterated Wednesday that “things are positive” in the ongoing consultations over his government's future.

“As you are hearing, things are positive, and God willing we will announce good news to the Lebanese next week should the positivity continue,” Hariri told reporters in a brief chat after he attended a ceremony celebrating the Prophet's Birthday at the Mohammed al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut.

Asked whether he will reverse his resignation permanently next week, Hariri said: “If things are positive, God willing I will.”

As for the possibility of holding a cabinet session next week, the premier said: “Let us see how things go and if they take a positive course.”

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/238887-hariri-says-resignation-crisis-ends-next-week-if-positivity-continues

(* A)

Lebanon's Aoun holds talks on Hariri government

President Michel Aoun held talks on Monday with other Lebanese political leaders over the future of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s government, but gave no sign whether they discussed Hariri’s demand the country steer clear of regional turmoil.

Aoun’s office said the talks were positive and constructive but did not detail steps to address the demands Hariri made after postponing his shock resignation, notably that Lebanese stick by the state policy of staying out of regional conflicts - a reference to Iran-backed Shi‘ite group Hezbollah.

The consultations would continue once Aoun returns on Friday from an official visit to Italy, the statement said.

A senior Lebanese official said the consultations at the presidential palace in Baabda aimed to help Hariri’s government “get back on its feet”, after weeks of political instability triggered by Hariri’s Nov. 4 resignation, announced in Riyadh.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics/lebanons-aoun-holds-talks-on-hariri-government-idUSKBN1DR1EI

(* A)

Dialogue between Lebanon's parties to kick off among alert

After returning to his home country and resuming his duties as prime minster of Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri and his government seem to be on high alert while waiting for the results of the political dialogue, which President Michel Aoun promised to begin, in exchange for suspending Hariri’s resignation.
Four main topics that should be covered during the discussions between the Lebanese political parties, as required and demanded by Hariri after his return to Beruit. These aspects include the state’s stability, complete commitment to the Taif Agreement signed in 1989 and applying self-control rules over all political parties in order to restrict their effects on the state’s foreign relations.
According to Al-Hayat newspaper on Monday, Aoun will begin his meetings today with the country’s political parties and end his day with a separate meeting between Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to inform them of his most recent decisions.
Extensive efforts between Aoun, Hariri, Berri and other world leaders have been underway in order to restrain Hezbollah's interference in regional issues. On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the latest political developments over two phone calls with both Hariri and Aoun.

https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/2/34485/Dialogue-between-Lebanon-s-parties-to-kick-off-among-alert

(A)

Libanon: Patriarch lobt Präsident für Krisenmanagement

Maronitenpatriarch Kardinal Bechara Rai hat Präsident Michel Aoun für dessen Umgang mit der Krise gewürdigt. „Mit seiner Weisheit, Haltung und Vorsicht hat der Präsident alle Ereignisse kontrolliert, und das Land hat eine Rückkehr zu Freude und größerer Einheit erlebt“, sagte Rai laut libanesischen Medienberichten nach Gesprächen mit Aoun am Dienstag.

http://de.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/11/29/libanon_patriarch_lobt_pr%C3%A4sident_aoun_f%C3%BCr_krisenmanagement/1351853

(A)

Al-Rahi Says Aoun 'Contained' Crisis, Salutes Saudi Arabia

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi announced Tuesday that President Michel Aoun has managed to “contain” the crisis that followed Prime Minister Saad Hariri's shock resignation from Riyadh, as he saluted Saudi Arabia over its stances on Lebanon.

“Through his wisdom, composure and prudence, the president has contained all the events and the country has witnessed a return to joy and major unity,” al-Rahi said after talks with Aoun in Baabda, declaring that “the latest crisis has ended.”

As for his latest trip to Saudi Arabia, the patriarch saluted the kingdom over the “wonderful remarks” he heard from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed “about Lebanon and the Lebanese.”

“Lebanon is very important for them and they believe that it should remain open to all people and that it should preserve its friendships with all countries,” al-Rahi added.

“They want Lebanon to remain a beautiful and kind land, a land of freedom and rapprochement, not animosities,” the patriarch said.

Asked about the government and the consultations Aoun has held with the country's political leaders, al-Rahi revealed that the president told him that the Cabinet would convene “early next week to discuss the outcome of the consultations.”

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/238828-al-rahi-says-aoun-contained-crisis-salutes-saudi-arabia

(** A B)

Lebanese PM Hariri Silent on Saudi Detainment, Threatens to Re-Resign

Saad Hariri refuses to talk about what was done to him in Saudi Arabia, but renews calls for foreign meddling into his own nation.

Lebanon’s once and future Prime Minister Saad Hariri has been highly vocal since his return to Beirut, after apparently being held in Saudi Arabia against his will following on from a forced resignation that has now been rescinded.

However, while Hariri continues to speak to journalists, he has refused to offer any details about what actually happened to him in Saudi Arabia during what is regarded almost universally as a captivity.

The prime minister was also quoted by Lebanese sources as saying that he would keep to himself what happened in Saudi Arabia, implying that he did not feel free to expose what had actually transpired in the Arab kingdom”.

After refusing to answer questions about his Saudi captivity, Hariri again appeared to call for foreign meddling in Lebanon, saying that his opposition to his own coalition partner Hezbollah, must be dealt with not at a national/internal but at a regional level.

Hariri proclaimed, Lebanon cannot resolve a question like Hezbollah which is in Syria, Iraq, everywhere because of Iran. It is a regional political solution that needs to be done”.

He then threatened to resign (either for the first or second time, depending on one’s interpretation of events) as the Prime Minister of Lebanon if Hezbollah was not restrained from engaging in anti-terrorist campaigns in countries like Syria and Iraq. Through all of this, he predictably laid the blame on Iran for his personal feelings about Hezbollah.

As I recently wrote in The Duran,

Hariri’s statements in favour of so-called “disassociation” in respect of Hezbollah are not only misguided, but Hariri is hardly in a position to effect this in one way or the other.

Hezbollah’s function in Lebanon is that of a kind of national-guard which is on the front lines against the threat of Takfiri terrorism as well as the related threat of renewed Israeli invasion and occupation.

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister recently stated the undeniable reality, that Hezbollah has protected Lebanon in ways that the traditional armed forces could no longer do alone.

Furthermore, Hezbollah’s involvement in the anti-terrorist campaigns in Syria and Iraq is fully legal as Hezbollah has acted with the full permission and cooperation of the governments in Damascus and Baghdad and has done so in such a way that mutually benefits the civilian populations in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon who are all under threat from Takfiri terrorists and Israeli aggression.

Furthermore, by implying that foreign rather than domestic actors must work to subdue Hezbollah, Hariri seems to be calling for foreign powers to intervene in the sovereign workings of one of Lebanon’s legal political parties and a highly popular one at that. The remarks betrays Hariri’s shameful disregard for Lebanon’s sovereign political bodies and consequently, his disregard for Lebanon’s own independence and dignity.

Lebanon’s political settlement is based on the acknowledgement that all of the country’s factions must work as cooperatively as possible, in order for the country to be greater than the sum of its parts. This constructive attitude was presented in unison by parties across Lebanon’s political spectrum during Hariri’s almost certain captivity in Saudi Arabia.

Now that Hariri is back, he is attempting to proffer a narrative that some of the parts which make up Lebanon must be exorcised and that this somehow makes Lebanon a healthier country. The opposite is in fact true, which is why Hezbollah and other members of the March 8 Alliance agreed to enter a coalition with parties from the March 14 Alliance, including Hariri’s own pro-Saudi Future Movement.

Hariri’s attempt to scapegoat the weakness in his own leadership, which has been further damaged since his Saudi captivity, is a cheap shot which only threatens to expose Lebanon’s fragile settlement to foreign actors such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have always sought to exploit historic tensions to the detriment of all Lebanese.

Even Lebanese who do not vote for Hezbollah, are increasingly recognising its vital importance to the sustained security and stability of the Lebanese nation.

The fact that Hariri has seemingly called for foreign actors to restrain Hezbollah is an insult to the collective spirit implicit in Lebanon’s coalition government, which thanks to the collective efforts of multiple parties, including Hezbollah, has shown that it can survive with or without the duel-Saudi/Lebanese citizen Hariri at its helm”. – By Adam Garrie

The Duran is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/lebanons-hariri-silent-on-saudi-detainment-threatens-to-re-resign/234903/

(A)

Film: Hariri, Hezbollah dominate talks on Lebanon’s regional role

https://news.google.com/news/video/Vu08o9XMtEE/dgMa-L2KbjmDSEMWkPe9D0c9CtNgM?hl=en&gl=US&ned=us

cp4 Mehr / More

(* B)

Meet the Hawkish Saudi Minister Leading the Kingdom's Proxy Wars With Iran and Lebanon

Fiercely anti-Iran Thamer al-Sabhan was the key adviser behind Saudi Arabia's high-stakes gambles to counter rival Iran - including Lebanese PM Hariri's recent resignation

Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, relies on a small core group of advisers, none more provocative than Thamer al-Sabhan, the fiercely anti-Iran government official whose fingerprints were on the hurried and ultimately unsuccessful resignation of Lebanon's prime minister earlier this month.

As Saudi minister for Gulf affairs, al-Sabhan has a hand in helping shape the kingdom's high-stakes gambles to counter rival Iran.

For days before Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's surprise resignation, which the kingdom is widely believed to have orchestrated, al-Sabhan issued threats against Lebanon's government as well as Iran and its ally Hezbollah via Twitter, unnerving many Lebanese who feared being dragged yet again into the forefront of the Saudi-Iran rivalry for regional supremacy.

Three months earlier, al-Sabhan had been sent to Beirut to meet with Hariri and deliver a blunt warning against concessions that could favor Iran's allies in Lebanon.

Though Saudi Arabia may have succeeded in pressuring Hezbollah and bringing attention to the Shiite militant group's expanding regional footprint, the kingdom's political moves in Lebanon were largely seen as a debacle that backfired.

The 50-year-old al-Sabhan was at the center of it all.

On Twitter, al-Sabhan has openly tried to call the shots in Lebanon, demanding that Hezbollah be kicked out of the government and calling on the Lebanese to confront the militant group. He even got into a Twitter spat with Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.825639

(B)

Fußball im Lager: Campions statt Champions

Bei der "League of the Camps" stehen sich in Beirut wöchentlich Fußballteams aus den lokalen Flüchtlingslagern gegenüber. Eine rein palästinensische Liga wie bei der Gründung vor 13 Jahren ist es längst nicht mehr.

http://www.dw.com/de/fu%C3%9Fball-im-lager-campions-statt-champions/a-41558957

Earlier reporting:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/libanon-mosaik-lebanon-mosaic-5

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

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-361-yemen-war-mosaic-361

22:30 29.11.2017
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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