Saturday, January 22, 2011

We should be happy the Syria-Saudi mediation failed

An-Nahar published the text of the document that Jumblatt said constituted the Syria-Saudi settlement.  An English translation is available at  As widely reported, Hariri would have been expected to abolish cooperation with the STL, stop further funding, and withdraw the Lebanese judges. In return, Hariri would have expected a few concessions that include:

1. An end to the "false witnesses" witch-hunt and withdrawal of the Syrian arrest warrant. Promises not to attack Hariri's team.

2. Disarming of Palestinians who live outside the camps

and.....hold your breath for this one ..

3. Implementation the Taif accord.

What sort of concessions are these? Didn't we agree to implement the Taif accord 20 years ago? Wasn't the issue of Palestinian arms agreed in 2006?  The new concession that Hizbollah would be making is not to pursue a legally invalid witch-hunt, and not to harass Hariri's team....and we all know how they stick to their promises.

If this is indeed the outline of the settlement proposed, it is reassuring that Hariri and his allies refused it.  It speaks well of them.

The only "grand bargain" that is worth contemplating is to find a way to suspend cooperation with the STL in return for a complete and verifiable disarmament of Hizbollah. They won't accept that, of course, but neither can Lebanon afford contemplating anything short of full cooperation with the STL.

I have been critical of Hariri in the past, but this episode is making me warm up to him again.

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