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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Nov 29th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow US and Western Governments arrow Rice Against 'Compromises' with Opposition
Rice Against 'Compromises' with Opposition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet   
Friday, 02 November 2007

Rice with Chedid in Washington D.C. Aug'07
Rice with Chedid in Washington D.C. Aug'07

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday warned against diplomatic moves to settle Lebanon's ongoing political crisis by compromising with the Syrian-backed opposition. 

"I think there is a lot of talk right now about compromise," she told journalists on a plane taking her to Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders on Kurdish rebels.

"There are a lot of discussions going on. That is fine," she added before a stopover in Ireland.

"But any candidate for president or any president needs to be committed to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence, needs to be committed to resolutions that Lebanon has signed on to ... and needs to be committed to carrying on the tribunal."

Rice was referring to the U.N.-backed international tribunal that was set up to prosecute those behind the murder of Rafik Hariri, a five-time prime minister who was killed along with 22 others in a massive Beirut explosion in February 2005.

She did not mention names, but her statement appeared to be a veiled reference to a meeting between Gen. Michel Aoun, who is the opposition standard-bearer in November 12 presidential elections, and parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri.

Aoun and Hariri met in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday for their first talks since Lebanon's political crisis erupted in November last year.

The French foreign ministry said it was not involved in the talks but stressed that France "supports all efforts aimed at encouraging dialogue between the different parties in Lebanon."

Fears are running high in Beirut that the standoff between the pro- and anti-Syrian camps could lead to two rival governments, a grim reminder of the end of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war when two administrations battled it out.

Rice said she was going to discuss the issue with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Turkey to send "the right message:

It is "that the March 14 majority should not be put in a position of having to accept either extra-constitutional measures or measures that would undermine the programme that they stand for."

More than one million people protested at Syria's influence in Lebanese politics during a Beirut rally on March 14, 2005, a month after Rafik Hariri's assassination.(AFP-Naharnet) 

Beirut, 02 Nov 07, 10:13


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