» 09/07/2010, 00.00
LEBANON - SYRIA
Saad Hariri: Syria did not kill my father
The statement in a comment published by a Saudi newspaper. A complete turnabout: the accusations against Syria in 2005 led to the formation of a strong movement in opposition to Damascus (led by Saad) resulting in the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanese soil. Perhaps Syria is aligning with the Arab front, abandoning Iran.
Beirut (AsiaNews) - The Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri says that he was wrong to accuse Syria in the murder of his father Rafik five years ago. In a commentary published yesterday in the Saudi newspaper (published in London) Asharq Al-Awsat, he confirms that the accusations against Damascus were motivated by politics.
“At some point, we made a mistake," he says "At one stage, we accused Syria of assassinating the martyred premier. That was a political accusation, and that political accusation is over…,There is a (UN) court that is doing its job, and we for our part must reassess what happened”.
Hariri's son's statements represent a complete change of track. Rafik Hariri was killed in a bomb attack in Beirut February 14, 2005, which killed 22 others. Saad and his allies have always accused Damascus of being behind the attack. The death of Rafik and international criticism generated a strong opposition (led by Saad) to Syria, which in April 2005 resulted in the withdrawal of its troops from Lebanon after nearly 30 years of military occupation
The preliminary investigation of a UN international tribunal - established in 2007 - had shown that relatives of Bashar Assad, the Syrian president, along with Lebanese intelligence services were implicated in the death of the late premier. But so far it has not cited any individual suspect.
Meanwhile relations between Lebanon and Syria have improved to the exchange of ambassadors and the launch of some programs of economic cooperation. Saad himself has visited Syria at least three times during his tenure last year.
In recent months, rumors have emerged that some members of Hezbollah were involved in the murder of Rafik. Hezbollah in Lebanon are supported by Iran. Observers speculate that the change in Saad Hariri’s attitude to Damascus will facilitate its alignment with the Arab front (dominated by the Saudis), as opposed to the front dominated by Iran.
14/08/2008 LEBANON - SYRIA
Summit between Beirut and Damascus has not eliminated all doubts
The announcement of the establishment of normal diplomatic relations is positive, but questions remain over Assad's true stance. It's still an open case, from the definition of borders to the assassination of Rafic Hariri.
Bishops condemn "confusion" reigning in Lebanon
There was express reference to Lahoud's statements against the formation of an international tribunal as well as to attempts to topple the government. Cardinal Sfeir pointed at "political leaders" who are seeking to "facilitate international interference and the preservation of regional forces in the country." Hezbollah has rejected UN calls to disarm its militias.
UN renews calls for militia disarmament in tormented Lebanon
The concern of the Security Council comes at a time when the political situation is extremely strained, with Hezbollah putting pressure on the pro-Western government of Siniora. Cardinal Sfeir is set to meet Berri and Aoun.
22/07/2010 LEBANON – SYRIA – IRAN
Tensions rise in Lebanon over possible Hizbollah involvement in Hariri assassination
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is set to indict some Hizbollah leaders for their alleged involvement in the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister. The Doha agreement could fall apart over the matter. In this context, Syria appears to be shifting its regional alliances away from Tehran and Hizbollah.
Dual Saudi-Syrian visit leaves Lebanon still divided
The arrival of King Abdullah and President Bashar el Assad in order to calm internal tensions, as the publication of the International Tribunal report could blame Hezbollah for the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri. Fears of a new civil war in Lebanon.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
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