Saudi ends Lebanon mediation

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had abandoned mediation efforts in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Saad al-Hariri over the killing of his father.

Saudi ends Lebanon mediation


Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had abandoned mediation efforts in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Saad al-Hariri over the killing of his father and warned that the country's future was at stake.

Regional power Saudi Arabia and Syria had worked for months to resolve a dispute between Hezbollah and Hariri over indictments in the 2005 killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, which are widely expected to accuse some Hezbollah members.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom had abandoned its efforts and that the situation in Lebanon was "dangerous".

"If the situation reaches separation or partition of Lebanon, this means the end of Lebanon as a state that has this model of peaceful cohabitation between religions and ethnicities and different groups," he told Al Arabiya television.

"It would be a loss for the whole Arab nation".

Despite the declared withdrawal by Saudi Arabia, a powerful regional player and close supporter of Hariri, other countries were continuing efforts to find compromise.

Ministers from Qatar and Turkey were holding a second day of talks in Beirut, after meeting Hariri and Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday.

"(Saudi Arabia is saying) it is not part of the negotiation process lead by Turkey and Qatar," Okab Sakr, a parliamentarian close to Hariri told Reuters.

"Because its efforts collided with obstacles (inside Lebanon). So they are saying let the Turkish and the Qataris do (what they can) and it supports any efforts aimed at protecting Lebanon."

"We think that the situation is in a very dangerous stage and the country is heading towards (problems) on the streets which means dividing the country," Sakr said.

Hilal Khashan, a political science professor at the American University of Beirut, said there was little chance of breakthrough because positions remained entrenched.

"It will not lead to anything because Hariri will not change his mind. It is all a waste of time," he said. "Last week (the mediation) collapsed, so what would make it work this week?"


Agencies

Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2011, 16:24
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