Lebanon

Regional powers suspend Lebanon mediation effort

Pictures of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Nasrallah and Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister al-Hariri are seen on key rings at a gift shop in Sidon
Pictures of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Nasrallah and Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister al-Hariri are seen on key rings at a gift shop in Sidon Reuters

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar have suspended efforts to form a new government for Lebanon, one day after Saudi Arabia quit talks, warning of a "dangerous" situation.

Advertising

Our "efforts resulted in a working draft that takes into account political and legal demands to resolve the current crisis in Lebanon based on the Syrian-Saudi initiative", a statement said. "But given certain reservations, they decided to suspend their efforts in Lebanon for the time being and to leave Beirut in order to consult with their leadership."

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reportedly left Lebanon before dawn.

Last week, Lebanon’s government fell apart when Hezbollah ministers quit the government. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and premier Saad Hariri, are deeply divided over a UN investigation into the death of Saad’s father and ex-premier, Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in car bomb attack in 2005.

Media reports say the mediation’s initiative calls for Lebanon to disavow a UN tribunal probing Hariri’s assassination against guarantees from the Shia Muslim Hezbollah concerning its weapons.

According to political sources cited by the AFP wire service, the working draft drawn up by the two foreign ministers had been submitted overnight to Hezbollah for approval.

On Monday, the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) submitted a sealed indictment in the case, which is now being reviewed by a judge.

Turkish, Syrian and Qatari leaders met earlier this week to discuss the creation of a Turkish-Qatari mission to resolve the crisis.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning