Lebanon’s tough hour

Lebanon is back in the news, and this time with a word of caution. The brewing political crisis in one of the most volatile countries of the Middle East is more than enough to unnerve the entire region. But if unofficial media reports are to be believed, Syria and Saudi Arabia are inching towards an understanding to ward off any damning consequence that Beirut’s political dispensation will face in the wake of the United Nations tribunal’s indictment of Hezbollah in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. This is a welcome an understanding to ward off any damning consequence that Beirut’s, and goes on to suggest the sensitivities that need to be taken care of in a probe case mired in mystery and controversy.

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Published: Thu 18 Nov 2010, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

Under the agreement, if the Shia militia is indicted, Beirut will officially move on to exonerate Hezbollah from the charges and come up with a statement of praise for its role in defending the country from foreign onslaughts. This also serves as a face-saving mechanism for Syria, which has been accused of masterminding the killing, plunging its ties with Lebanon at all times low, and resulting in withdrawal of its troops. The very fact that Saudi Arabia is on board in this prescription of reconciliation makes it a revered deal, which will go a long way in maintaining the newly set in harmony after years of sectarian and linguistic feuds. Though Hezbollah has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Hariri assassination, and has rejected the tribunal as a sham exercise, it has nonetheless kept its fingers crossed. But it goes to its credit that the militia hasn’t made any effort to weaken the government, and has rather provided it with the crucial support on the floor of the house.

The consensus and cordiality enjoyed between the Hezbollah and the host of political parties, whether in the government or in the opposition, comes as a real source of strength and nationalism in the face of Israeli extra-territorial designs. This commonality of viewing Hezbollah as a credible politic-military force, and one that has of late maintained a safe distance with Iran, has furthered its indispensability in the region and Lebanese politics. One hopes the tribunal’s proceedings would not act as an obstacle in the path of solidarity and security of the civil war-weary country.

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