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“…Larijani transmitted to Riyadh Damascus’s refusal to ratify tribunal…”

“…Larijani transmitted to Riyadh Damascus’s refusal to ratify tribunal…”

Al Hayat, an independent Saudi owned newspaper, reported in its January 24 issue about the latest developments in the Lebanese political situation. The newspaper wrote: “Last Friday, those calling the Saudi ambassador Abdul-Aziz Khojah were still wagering on the success of the agreement on a draft for a solution to the political crisis that would end with the signature of the major factions, whether in the government or in the opposition, to be announced in a parliamentary session to be called for by the parliamentary speaker Nabih Birri. The leaders of the majority and the Prime Minister Fu’ad Al-Sanyurah had expressed their approval of the draft to ambassador Khojah who was asked for more time by the leaders of Hezbollah, who were negotiating with him along with speaker Birri, until last Thursday night in order to convince the head of the Free Patriotic Movement General Michel Aoun to sign the draft because he had insisted on including in the draft a section promising early parliamentary elections.”

The newspaper added: “The leaders of Hezbollah had postponed their reply from Tuesday the 16th first to Thursday and then to Friday. But Hezbollah’s answer came on Friday night in the interview with the secretary general of Hezbollah Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah on the Al-Manar television. Sayyid Nasrallah placed a condition that any solution should stipulate that the program of the national unity government must include a section promising early parliamentary elections…Khojah was surprised by Nasrallah’s statements and considered that they blew the draft out of the water especially as Nasrallah’s terms were accompanied with the announcement of the protests planned by the opposition…Al Hayat followed the communications and the developments that led to the dropping of the draft. The communications had started to accelerate after the return of Hezbollah’s delegation from Saudi Arabia where it was advised by the Saudi king to open up to Al-Sanyurah and the head of Future movement MP Sa’d Al-Hariri, with ambassador Khojah tasked with helping…”

The newspaper continued: “The discussions centered on a formula that ensures the ratification of the international tribunal through a team that studies the remarks of the opposition concerning the draft statute for the tribunal which would then be ratified by an expanded government on the basis of 19 ministers for the majority, 10 for the opposition, and one neutral minister to be appointed with the approval of both teams. The final draft centered on these two principles with the agreement set to be announced in a parliamentary session after long communications away from the light between ambassador Khojah and the concerned factions between the 8th and 14th of March in which Hezbollah suggested ideas that were amended…Meanwhile, on the 15th, the secretary general of the Supreme Iranian national security council Ali Larijani ended his visit to Saudi Arabia where he had reached an agreement with its leaders about hastening the solution for the Lebanese crisis and had offered to go to Beirut to market the solution based on the 19-10-1 formula with the ruling team choosing the neutral minister out of a list of five names suggested by Birri…”

The newspaper added: “On Sunday Larijani went to Damascus where he was preceded by a delegation from the Hezbollah leadership that met with Syrian officials and then met with him. The sources announced that that the Iranian official’s communications in Damascus revealed that the Syrians rejected the draft for the agreement prepared by Khojah between the majority and the minority. He also heard some hardliner talk about the inclusion of the ratification of the tribunal in any deal…” - Al Hayat, United Kingdom
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