Sunday, July 10, 2005

Koreitem, Rabieh, and Bustros Palace

Aoun today visited Hariri and Seniora in Koreitem! Yes, he did. In the face of an internationally isolated President, Aoun is not only invited next week to France for a meeting with President Chirac, but he also has been a stopping point for all diplomats coming Lebanon's way (especially the last visiting U.S. diplomat, Dibble, who gave an "unexcusable" excuse about why her agenda included no visit to Baabda.)

The Foreign Ministry obstacle appears on its way to be resolved. The Hizbullah-Amal bloc has agreed to widen its list of candidates to include non-partisan Shiite figures to assume this portfolio.

It is apparent and it has become clear that Saad Hariri follows very closely his father's line, namely not directly upping the heat on any party...but letting his views heard indirectly through his movement's representatives in Parliament and of course through the Al-Mustaqbal newspaper. FM's MP Ghazi Youssef, whose name came up as a possible candidate as Foreign minister (now the option is dropped), was clear yesterday when he claimed that Hizbullah assuming the Foreign portfolio threatens Lebanon's political and economic development and that we cannot afford confrontation with the whole world, but of course we need to solidify our position against foreign interference through national consensus.

Moreover, Aoun yesterday was extremely clear that the government can be radical but for the Foreign Ministry position.

The atmosphere feels more positive today and we might just see a government formed in the coming few days. Ahead of Lebanon tens and tens of obstacles to overcome after the government is formed. Since February 14th, we have been watching Lebanon overcoming one crisis after another; it is not easy the pathway to Independence.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


ThinkingMan said...

Syria's leaving Lebanon is the best thing that has happened to Lebanon, and we are seeing the real results now.
What you have described there is a pretty transparent process of government formation, with many politicians speaking candidly to each other.
As Doha pointed out, only in Lebanon is this possible. I don't mind discussing anything with anyone as long as reason, logic and Lebanon's interests prevail instead of fear of the truth, black-mail and pressure (which we had before).
In summary:
With Syria:
- fear of truth
- black-mail
- hidden agendas
- pressure
- bypassing politicians
- Syria's interests

Without Syria:
- more honesty
- real, logical debates
- tranparency
- politicians talking to each other
- Lebanon's interests

Hassan said...

TM, this is very heart-warming, but does anyone have any ideas on the possible resolutions of the Government Policy Statement? (thank you doha for the term) again, the most obvious urgent issue is lebanon's stand on 1559. two other important issues are fighing corruption and overcoming confessionalism, two things we always blamed on syria.

Hassan said...

one more thing: does fighting corruption mean opening old files. In such a case, which files will be opened. Bank al-madina? (a special treat to Emile "Abou Ali" Lahoud, Rustom "Rusty" Ghazaleh and Ghazi "Guss" Kanaan) how about the ministry of displaced, or solidere or CDR? selective opening of corruption files is similar to selective war-crime trials in the "old lebanon".

Guss Guss said...

It's Ghazi "Guss Guss" Kanaan, and it's "Mr Kanaan" to you my friend...

Hassan said...

U mean al-liwa2 kanaan, no?

Doha said...


The government will be facing many contentious issues it has to deal with, not only political (1559 (HA disarmament and Palestinian refugees question), ties (diplomatic/economic/other) with Syria, corruption), but also economic (think Seniora's budget proposal he prepared right before the late Hariri's resignation from government, which will shut down many "Funds", obsolete government agencies, and advocates for immediate privatization to close out the many loopholes.) Now that is one contentious point...employment in our public agencies have always been a source of political legitimacy and popularity for our politcians (the bread and butter).

ThinkingMan said...

Hassan- I agree with your other points. what i said earlier doesn't negate 1559, corruption, etc...I'm all for it.
And I will take it one step further: I am also for negotiating peace with Israel now, on our own, without waiting for Syria necessarily or others.

Hassan said...

consider these: solidere, and the telecomm sector (mobile phone, ogero, and the Internet); already quasi-privatized, with considerable foreign stakeholders, but they "went local" ages ago. it's a culture issue. for God's sake, AUB went local ages ago! i sometimes think it worse than the government administrations.