Joined: 09 Sep 2006
|Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:29 am Post subject: Lebanese Draft Policy Statement Green Light for Hizbullah Fi
|Lebanese Draft Policy Statement Green Light for Hizbullah Fighting; Nullifies Res. 1701
A draft policy statement of the new Lebanese government that was unanimously approved by the cabinet on Monday is seen as tacit approval for Hizbullah's ongoing war against Israel.
Four Christian, anti-Syrian ministers objected to a clause which recognizes "the right of Lebanon's people, army, and resistance to liberate the Israeli-occupied Shib’a Farms, Kafar Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese section of Ghajar village, and defend the country using all legal and possible means." The ministers sought to add the phrase, "under the guardianship of the state" in order to make it clear that Hizbullah was subservient to the government.
But reports from Beirut indicate that the consensus among legislators is that the policy statement is a green light for Hizbullah's armed operations against Israel.
The Beirut Daily Star reports that the statement was also criticized by some legislators for failing to address the plight of 21,000 families that were displaced by the factional fighting in and around Tripoli. Analysts at The Media Line caution that if ratified by the parliament the policy statement will nullify clause 3 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 ending the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah.
That clause, designed to strip non-governmental bodies such as Hizbullah of weapons, will arguably circumvent that intent by extending the "right of…resistance to liberate" land from Israel to Lebanon's "resistance" – i.e. Hizbullah.
U.S. Revokes Visas of Fulbright Scholars Rice Went to Bat For
Citing the receipt of new information, the U.S. State Department has revoked the visas of three of four Fulbright Scholars in whose cases Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice personally interceded. The plight of the would-be Fulbright recipients became a cause célèbre when it became known that the Israeli authorities refused to allow the four to leave the Gaza Strip, prompting the State Department to announce that the prestigious scholarships were being withdrawn. Rice publicly expressed her annoyance with the Israelis and, because of her personal involvement, Israel relented and the four were issued visas to enter the U.S. The New York Times broke the story that three of the four visas have been revoked, quoting a State Department official as saying that "we needed to take a closer and harder look at them in light of the additional information we received." One of the three students had already arrived in the U.S. when word of the revocation hit and was sent back to Jordan.
Faya'd: Money From U.A.E. Will Pay P.A. Salaries
Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Faya'd said on Monday that an infusion of cash from the United Arab Emirates would enable him to pay last month's salaries of Palestinian Authority employees later this week. Faya'd has been critical of Arab nations for not making good on their financial commitments to the Palestinians, saying it was the cause of a cash-flow crisis. Faya'd said $42 million had arrived from the UAE and that efforts were underway to obtain $80 million pledged by Kuwait. Donor nations pledged $7.7 billion to the P.A. at a Paris conference last December. Little of that money has been collected, and much of it is earmarked for specific projects that remove it from the general budget.
Iranian Response to New Incentive Package Due Tuesday
Iran is due to respond to the latest package of economic incentives offered by Western nations as a trade-off for a halt to Iran's nuclear development program. Both the United States and the United Kingdom have threatened to slap additional sanctions on Tehran if its response is negative. A deadline for a response that was set by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana came and went last Saturday with no word from the Iranians. Later, however, Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told Solana his nation would issue a written report on Tuesday. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad said on Saturday that Tehran would not back off even "one iota" from its nuclear activities. Iran has been negotiating with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany.
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