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Entries for January 2011

Troubled Engagement


Foreign Policy
Troubled Engagement
The United States has an ambassador in Syria for the first time in nearly six years. Now what?
BY ANDREW J. TABLER | JANUARY 25, 2011

On Jan. 16, Amb. Robert Ford stepped off a plane in Damascus -- and right into a diplomatic crisis in Lebanon. The news that Hezbollah and its allies, which are supported by Syria and Iran, have secured the votes to elect a friendly Lebanese prime minister will no doubt be on the top of Ford's agenda as Washington struggles to rein in Hezbollah's growing influence.

 

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Clinton: Hezbollah govt in Lebanon bad for US ties


Clinton: Hezbollah govt in Lebanon bad for US ties

Jan. 25, 2011, 1:13 p.m. EST
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Tuesday that formation of a Hezbollah-dominated government in Lebanon will mean changes in the U.S. relations with the country.

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Pressure Points The “Resistance” in Lebanon


Council on Foreign Relations Blog: Pressure Points
The “Resistance” in Lebanon
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011
by Elliott Abrams

The influence of the United States in the Middle East is declining while that of Iran is rising. That’s the meaning of events in Lebanon, where Hizballah has in essence thrown Prime Minister Saad Hariri from office and is about to choose his successor.

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Lebanon Approaches Tipping Point


Council on Foreign Relations
Lebanon Approaches Tipping Point
By Deborah Jerome, Deputy Editor
January 24, 2011

Lebanon's increasingly assertive Hezbollah faction has said it would nominate for prime minister a fifty-five-year-old billionaire businessman, Najib Mikati. The emergence of a Hezbollah government--backed by allies Iran and Syria--would almost certainly set Lebanon on a collision course with the United States and its allies about the fate of the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri.

 

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Desperately seeking Syria at Lebanon's expense


It has been almost six years since a brutal bombing in Beirut killed Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others on Valentine's Day 2005. This week, the UN prosecutor overseeing the investigation finally submitted sealed indictments to the criminal court's pre-trial judge as to who was responsible for the bombing. UN investigators and foreign intelligence over the last several years, however, have consistently pointed to senior Syrian and Iranian officials' involvement. While the names of the indicted individuals are not expected to be known for eight weeks, the Obama administration has known for quite some time that senior Syrian and Iranian officials are to blame for the brutal killings.

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What now for Lebanon


South Beirut -- Informed Congressional sources in Washington DC today are confirming that the White House has informed Congressional Committee Chairpersons and American allies that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will indict Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Wali al Faqui (jurisconsult or Supreme Religious Leader) for issuing the order to assassinate Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

 

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STATEMENT BY SENATOR McCAIN REGARDING THE CRISIS IN LEBANON


STATEMENT BY SENATOR McCAIN REGARDING THE CRISIS IN LEBANON
 
Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) made the following statement regarding the current crisis in Lebanon:
 
“The collapse of Lebanon's democratic government clearly demonstrates the desire of Hezbollah to thwart justice and rule Lebanon despite losing the last election.  The threat of violence has no place in a democracy. 

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Hizballah Challenges Lebanon's Prime Minister Hariri -- and President Obama


By David Schenker and Matthew Levitt
PolicyWatch #1741
January 13, 2011

Yesterday, January 12, as Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri prepared to meet with President Obama in the Oval Office, the Hizballah-led opposition withdrew its support from the Beirut government, forcing its collapse.

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Firestorm among Lebanon's Cedars


  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amb-marc-ginsberg/firestorm-among-lebanons_b_808295.html

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Pressure Points: Can Lebanon Escape


Council on Foreign Relations Blog: Pressure Points
Can Lebanon Escape?
By Elliott Abrams
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Newspapers today are reporting that Hizbollah-backed members of parliament have withdrawn from the Lebanese government, effectively bringing down  the coalition led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

 

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Statement on Obama’s Meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri


  11 January 2011 Statement on Obama’s Meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri       THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Pr...

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Obama calls Saudi king, voices solidarity on Lebanon


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama called Saudi King Abdullah on Tuesday, wishing him a speedy recovery from recent surgery and saying he wanted to keep working with Saudi Arabia and others to stabilize the situation in Lebanon, the White House said.

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Heroic Journalism in Lebanon? Ex-Envoy Disagrees


As ambassador to Lebanon from 2004 to 2008, I was the person whom Al Akhbar’s editorial chairman, Ibrahim al-Amine, hoped to upset every morning with his newspaper’s coverage (“A Rarity in the Region, a Lebanese Paper Dares to Provoke,” news article, Dec. 29).

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US: any step taken with Syria will not be at Lebanon’s expense


Commenting on the recent appointment of a US ambassador to Syria US ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly said on Friday : “President Barack Obama had announced in June of 2009, his intention to restore the U.S. ambassador to Syria. Following the nomination of Robert Ford on February 16, 2010, Obama waited 10 months for the US Senate to take the necessary measures in confirming his nomination .

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