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  1. #1
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    david44's Avatar
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    Lebanon , there may be trouble ahead

    Beirut no not fun on the beach the erstwhile Paris of the Med is in turmoil.

    Both Kuwait and KSA are asking no travel and their nationals to leave, draw your own conclusions, a hit due?

    Bigger Picture

    KSA asked coalition PM Hariri to resign as it faces off against Iran

    Iran with few allies apart from nuclear Russia

    KSA has a ragbag of support the devout madrassahas worldwide, Gulf clients, USA most western states and increasingly quier but support from nuclear Israel.

    A dangerous mix adjacent to Israel Syria and Iran bordering the Afghan and balouchistan instability, An often overlooked facor much of Pakistans income comes from the Gulf and like Israel it is nuclear.If it kicks off it'll be messy.
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  2. #2
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    Neverna's Avatar
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    French PM Macron arrived in Saudia Arabia today, presumably to persuade SA to not start something in Lebanon, or at least not to destabalise Lebanon.

  3. #3
    ไม่อยู่ใต้กะลามะพร้า ว HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    French PM Macron arrived in Saudia Arabia today, presumably to persuade SA to not start something in Lebanon, or at least not to destabalise Lebanon.
    The French connection.
    Still consider it a protectorate.

  4. #4
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    US declines comment on Hariri's status in Saudi Arabia

    The United States has declined to comment on the status of Lebanon's former prime minister who suddenly announced his resignation from the capital of Saudi Arabia last week and has yet to return to Beirut.

    State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a press briefing on Thursday that Chris Henzel, the US charge d'affaires in Riyadh, met Saad Hariri on Wednesday, but refused to comment on where the meeting took place or to elaborate on Hariri's status.

    "[The talks] were sensitive, private, diplomatic conversations," Nauert said.

    "We have seen him. In terms of the conditions of him being held or the conversations between Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister Hariri, I would have to refer you to the government of Saudi Arabia and also to Mr Hariri's office."When asked by reporters whether the US has a comment regarding the resignation of Hariri, Nauert said it was an "internal matter that we couldn't comment on".

    Russia threat
    Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, threatened on Thursday to refer Hariri's case to the UN Security Council if the "ambiguity" continues.

    "The issue of Hariri's return to the country concerns the sovereign rights of Lebanon," Zasypkin said in an interview with Lebanese channel LBC.

    Lebanese officials have said Hariri is likely to be under either house arrest or in temporary detention in Riyadh.

    His resignation came on the same day that dozens of Saudi princes, senior ministers, businessmen were arrested in a purge carried out by a new anti-corruption committee led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe-1 radio "to our knowledge" Hariri is not being held by Saudi authorities. Hariri is "free in his movements", he said on Friday, adding "it is up to him to make his choices".

    Le Drian's office wouldn't say where France's information came from.

    French President Emmanuel Macron discussed Lebanon, a former French colony, during a surprise visit on Thursday to Riyadh.

    US declines comment on Hariri's status in Saudi Arabia | USA News | Al Jazeera

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    Yes it's all to do with the power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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    Nasrallah says Saad Hariri resignation 'illegal'

    The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah has declared that the country's prime minister is currently detained in Saudi Arabia and that his "forced" resignation is unconstitutional because it was done "under pressure".

    Speaking in Beirut on Friday, Hassan Nasrallah said he was sure that Saad Hariri was forced to resign as part of what he called Saudi Arabia's policy of stoking sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

    Hariri, who announced his resignation last week in a televised address from Riyadh, has yet to return to Lebanon.

    Nasrallah said Hariri is being prevented by Saudi officials from returning to Lebanon, which is why "we deem the resignation of Hariri illegal and invalid".

    "All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Saudi Arabia called the prime minister on urgent matter without his aide or advisers, and was forced to tender his resignation, and to read the resignation statement written by them," Nasrallah said, as he accused Riyadh of "blunt, unprecedented interference".

    "We declare that the prime minister of Lebanon has not resigned."

    Nasrallah also said "Lebanon had enjoyed unprecedented stability over the past year", and appealed for unity throughout the country.

    He said US President Donald Trump must have known of the plans to force Hariri's resignation.

    The US has declined to comment on Hariri's status.

    Nasrallah says Saad Hariri resignation 'illegal' | USA News | Al Jazeera

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    SA recalling its citizens from Lebanon doesn't sound healthy; could be a moody, but Saudi authorities are or should be familiar with Shiite principles in political/military conflict, which weighs against being a bluff that cannot or won't be followed up.

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    Tillerson warns region against using Lebanon as proxy for conflict

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday warned other countries and groups against using Lebanon as vehicle for a larger proxy fight in the Middle East, saying the United States strongly backed Lebanon’s independence.

    Tillerson said he recognized Saad al-Hariri as Lebanon’s prime minister and called him a “strong partner of the United States.”

    Tillerson’s backing of Hariri and the Lebanese government contrasted sharply with the approach taken by U.S. ally Saudi Arabia which has lumped Lebanon with Hezbollah as parties hostile to it.

    But Tillerson also cautioned against “any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country.”


    Read more: Tillerson warns region against using Lebanon as proxy for conflict | Reuters
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  9. #9
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    "But Tillerson also cautioned against “any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country.”"

    Where's he been the past couple of decades?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    Where's he been the past couple of decades?
    reaping the very handsome profits resulting from exactly this sort of "proxy conflict" which "contributed to instability".

  11. #11
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    Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia as hostage

    Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia, from where he resigned as Lebanese Prime Minister, two top government officials in Beirut said, amid a deepening crisis pushing Lebanon onto the front lines of a power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    A third source, a senior politician close to Saudi-allied Hariri, said Saudi Arabia had ordered him to resign and put him under house arrest. A fourth source familiar with the situation said Saudi Arabia was controlling and limiting his movement.

    In a televised statement indicating deep concern at Hariri’s situation, his Future Movement political party said his return home was necessary to uphold the Lebanese system, describing him as Prime Minister and a national leader.

    ​Hariri’s resignation last Saturday, read out on television from Saudi Arabia, came as a shock even to his aides and further embroiled Beirut in a regional contest between Riyadh and Tehran.

    Hariri’s exit fuelled wide speculation that the Sunni Muslim politician, long an ally of Riyadh, was coerced into stepping down by Saudi Arabia as it seeks to hit back against Iran and its Lebanese Shi‘ite ally, Hezbollah.

    In his resignation speech, Hariri denounced Iran and Hezbollah for sowing strife in Arab states and said he feared assassination. His father, a former prime minister, was killed by a bomb in 2005.

    Saudi Arabia has denied reports he is under house arrest.

    But Hariri has issued no statements himself to that effect, and has not denied that his movements are being restricted.

    “Keeping Hariri with restricted freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty. Our dignity is his dignity. We will work with (foreign) states to return him to Beirut,” said the senior Lebanese official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the government had yet to declare that position.

    Saudi Arabia says Hariri resigned because Hezbollah, which was included in Hariri’s coalition government, had “hijacked” Lebanon’s political system.

    Hariri aides had until Thursday denied he was under house arrest but took a dramatically different tone after a meeting of the Future Movement convened at Hariri’s Beirut residence on Thursday.

    A statement read by former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said his return was “necessary to recover respect for Lebanon’s internal and external balance, and in the framework of full respect for Lebanese legitimacy”.

    Hariri’s aunt, Bahia, sat next to Siniora as he read the statement. The party stood behind his leadership, it said.

    Read more
    Lebanon believes Saudi Arabia holding ex-PM Saad al-Hariri hostage as crisis deepens | The Independent

  12. #12
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    Found recently this comment at a discussion:

    To understand why Saad Hariri, the son of Rafiq Hariri, is under house arrest, the following must be known:

    "Rafiq Hariri was the illegitimate son of the late Saudi King, Fahd bin Abdel-Aziz. He did not recognize him publically, because his mother was married to Baha'eddine when the affair happened. But he made sure the family had plenty of money to raise Rafiq.
    When Rafiq became of age, he went to Saudi, to his father's kingdom. When Fahd became king in 1982. Rafiq's wealth began to multiply.
    Rafiq has a son named Fahd. His is younger than Saad.
    This makes Fahd bin Abdel-Aziz, the grandfather of Saad Hariri and Abdul-Aziz his great granpa.
    Now that Saad has his first son, he named him Abdel-Aziz, hopefully one day he can reclaim the kingdom of his great great grandfather."

    So Saad Hariri is the illegitimate grandson of the late King Fahd....

    A branch of the family directly competing with the current Crown Prince MBS....

    Saad could have been the organizer of a counter coup of other members of the Saudi royal family, so has to be kept under lock and key....

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    ^

    no idea whether or not that's true, but it is interesting.

  14. #14
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    The Saudi Royals are not a true kingdom because they are not Royal.
    The Saudi Royal family are a British invention , the clever Brits installed a couple of dirty Bedowin goat and camel herders to be Royalty , and most important of oil is to give BP oil ROYALTIES.

  15. #15
    ไม่อยู่ใต้กะลามะพร้า ว HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    The Saudi Royals are not a true kingdom because they are not Royal.
    The Saudi Royal family are a British invention , the clever Brits installed a couple of dirty Bedowin goat and camel herders to be Royalty , and most important of oil is to give BP oil ROYALTIES.
    Another false and highly imaginary Euro/Anglo-centric theory as such applies to contemporary historiology.
    To be expected from highly illusional and conditioned circles.

  16. #16
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    Neverna's Avatar
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    double post

  17. #17
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    This article from Haaretz is worth a read. A few extracts below. More at the link.

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.821085


    Saudi Arabia had long backed the Sunnis in Lebanon’s multi-sectarian political system and during the civil war. But they also provided a base and financial backing for the Hariri business empire. Hariri could not move right or left without Saudi support, nor could he rebuff their orders that he return to Lebanon as prime minister.


    ...it is plausible that the Saudis are trying to create the context for a different means of contesting Iran in Lebanon: an Israeli-Hezbollah war.


    With Assad clearly having survived the challenge posed by Saudi-backed rebels, the Saudi leadership may hope to move its confrontation with Iran from Syria to Lebanon. By pulling Hariri out of his office, they may hope to ensure that Hezbollah gets stuck with the blame and responsibility for Lebanon’s challenges, from caring for Syrian refugees to mopping up Al Qaida and ISIS affiliates.

    That could, the Saudis may believe, lead Hezbollah to seek an accelerated confrontation with Israel as a means of unifying Lebanese support for their dominance. As indicated in a different context - this week’s arrests of Saudi princes in a putative corruption crackdown - King Salman and MBS have little patience to establish their desired order.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    French PM Macron arrived in Saudia Arabia today, presumably to persuade SA to not start something in Lebanon, or at least not to destabalise Lebanon.
    I doubt he went out of his way, he was in Scabby Dhabi attending the Louvre opening, as were a lot of the Shaikhs.

  19. #19
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    Tillerson warns region against using Lebanon as proxy for conflict
    Wise words Rex- but it remains to be seen whether your country actually means it.
    Seems to me that the conflict is largely emanating from KSA these days, aided and abetted by their new bum chums in Israel.

  20. #20
    ไม่อยู่ใต้กะลามะพร้า ว HuangLao's Avatar
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    Subliminal blowback...

  21. #21
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    Interesting that a PM of a sovereign state can disappear for a week, still no sign of him. Macron has flown there, does not say whether he met him. Sure sure, so why no pictures?

    If it was another country with another friendly superpower, the "international community" would be very outraged.
    And a special meeting at UNSC would be called on over night, presided by the "new sheriff in town".

    Some reading from the expert on the area Robert Fisk:

    The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, has not gone as smoothly as the Saudis wanted
    To have Saudi officials now trying to dictate the make-up of another Lebanese government suggests that they want to take on the role played out for decades by pre-civil war Syria

    Robert Fisk @indyvoices 2 days ago
    The resignation of Lebanon?s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, has not gone as smoothly as the Saudis wanted | The Independent

  22. #22
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    In fairness, Hariri he did say he resigned because his life was in danger.

    Given that the Hizbollah terrorists murdered his father, that is a legitimate concern.

  23. #23
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    He was told to say that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    In fairness, Hariri he did say he resigned because his life was in danger.
    What else he could say? (All the big guys' life is in danger, do they resign?)

    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Given that the Hizbollah terrorists murdered his father, that is a legitimate concern.
    After many years of "international" investigation proven by evidence similar to other such cases e.g. Litvinenko...

  25. #25
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    I suspect the Saudis want launch air strikes to bomb Lebanon to strike out at Hizbolah , Who helped destroy Saudis war baby Daesh.
    Hysterical Israel of course wants Hysbolah annilated and what better than to allow Saudi bombers to use Israelie airspace to fly over to reach Lebanon.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the targets are chosen by Israel for their Saudi mates.
    One can only hope that a Saudi pilot does not become another Bin Laden and rebel by releasing his payload over Haifa.

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