Puppet buckethead mistaken for president in Lebanon
Lebanon is doomed.
Lebanese Pres. Rejects Talks With Israel, Praises Hizbullah
Wrapping up a three-day visit to France Wednesday night, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman explicitly rejected direct talks with Israel and praised Hizbullah for its military accomplishments.
At a press conference in Paris, capping a series of talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other French officials, Suleiman said that he was asked by his hosts if Lebanon would engage in direct negotiations with Israel.
"We have always refused to hold direct talks with the Israelis," Suleiman explained, adding that instead he had "invited President Sarkozy to work toward a global approach for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And we have also called for that to happen within the framework of an international conference to which all the parties involved would be invited."
The Lebanese leader cautioned, however, against internecine Arab disagreements over the issue. "If the world wants peace," he stated, "it must work for reconciliation" between Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority. In the same vein, he rejected a peace deal with Israel that would be forged "at Lebanon's expense or counter to the Arab national interest." On Monday, Lebanon opened an embassy in Syria for the first time.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera TV on Sunday, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora sounded a slightly different tune, when he said Lebanon was not in need of a "chaperon" for talks with Israel. "We can speak for ourselves," he said.
Hizbullah 'Protecting the Country'
In Paris this week, Lebanese President Suleiman also reportedly asked Sarkozy to pressure Israel over what he claimed were violations of United Nations Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Echoing the claims of Iran- and Syria-backed Hizbullah, Suleiman said Israel was in "occupation" of Mt. Dov (Shebaa Farms) on the Lebanon-Syria-Israel border. He also accused Israel of refusing to reveal where mines were placed by IDF forces in southern Lebanon during the conflict there.
Regarding the Hizbullah militia, which independently launched attacks on Israel that precipitated the 2006 war, Suleiman said, "We, in Lebanon, do not talk about disarming Hizbullah, because the Lebanese resistance played a major role in protecting the country during the time when the government was absent. We are seeking to find a formula that would allow us to benefit from the resistance force in defending the country." Instead, he explained, Hizbullah would "hand over the weapons" only in "a consensual agreement between the different political parties."
Meanwhile, US state department are funding Lebanese police training. Brilliant. (I have a source, you won't find it in the news)