Saturday, March 26, 2011

Assad nominates Hariri for PM!

Hussain Abdul-Hussain's blog highlights the author's own article in Kuwait's Al-Rai paper. The Washington-based author says that Bashar Assad has approached US officials to suggest that he is ready to recommend (to his allies in Beirut) the nomination of Saad Al-Hariri as Prime Minister of Lebanon again. Read the whole article here (Arabic).

If true, this confirms that Assad is desperate to re-ingratiate himself with Arabs, by appearing to move away from his alliance with Iran. Tony Badran has an excellent piece on why Assad will not move away from Iran.  For an in-depth look at the complex relationship between Hizbollah and Syria, I recommend this piece by Emile Hokayem.

It is easy to look at Assad's gesture as a kiss of death. But it does not need to be. March 14 have been re-invigorated by the recent protests, and are back "on message" by focussing squarely on Hizbollah's weapons.  Assad cannot deliver Hizbollah's weapons to the negotiating table, and it is difficult to imagine another Hariri premiership now that can duck the question of those weapons. This nomination will only expose Assad's own impotence.  

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