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Al-Akhbar “Opposition settles issue in Beirut”

Mideast Wire

Al-Akhbar, an independent pro-opposition newspaper, wrote in its lead editorial on May 9: “Only a few hours after the secretary general of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah ended his news conference, groups of fighters belonging to the opposition forces succeeded in taking control of the Future movement’s offices in several areas in Beirut and restrained the confrontations to some roads and alleys leading to MP Sa’d Al-Hariri’s house in Qreitim and to MP Walid Junblatt’s house in Clemenceau. The Tareeq Al-Jdideh area, the stronghold of the Future movement, remained outside the circle of confrontations as per a decision taken by the leadership of the opposition. While firefights continued breaking out from time to time close to Tareeq Al-Jdideh, MP Walid Junblatt asked speaker Birri to provide personal protection for himself and his supporters in his house in Clemenceau in return for handing over all his positions to the Lebanese army and ordering his fighters to return to their homes.

“The collapse on the ground for the fighters of the ruling team was accompanied by an incomplete political retreat as expressed in the statements issued by Junblatt and Al-Hariri which focused on dialogue and stopping the fighting following the news conference held by Nasrallah, in which he warned that the resistance is defending itself and is prepared to go to the utmost measures to defend its weapons. But the ruling team issued a dialogue initiative that was rejected by the opposition through speaker Nabih Birri, who told Junblatt and Al-Hariri directly of his attitude and called on them to accept Sayyid Nasrallah’s suggestion.

"While the circles of the ruling team were feeling shocked at the quick defeat of its forces on the ground, the leaders of that team were passing through some tough times after they heard Nasrallah’s statements, which they considered “surprising in its sharpness as the situation doesn’t necessitate all that noise and there is a possibility for dealing with what we decided in the government” according to Prime Minister Fu’ad Al-Sanyurah.

“But Al-Sanyurah had reprimanded a high ranking official in the communication ministry when he told them ahead of the infamous government session that the issue of the Hezbollah communication network doesn’t need a controversial decision and that the political repercussions of taking such a decision will be disastrous but Al-Sanyurah replied: “you are an employee and you have no right to talk about politics”. The prominent aspect of Nasrallah’s speech was that he talked about the country entering a new era following the decisions taken by the “Walid Junblatt government”. Despite the calm nature of the news conference, Nasrallah’s attitude was decisive as he refused to put an end to the ongoing protests in the street until the majority team recants its decisions concerning the resistance’s communication network and dismissing the commander of airport security General Wafiq Shqeir...

“At the same time, leaders in the Future movement were talking about preparations on the ground to “wage a counterattack” but it became clear that Junblatt, who considered that Nasrallah’s words contain “an order for his execution”, insisted on Al-Hariri to issue statements calling for a dialogue and for a solution. Junblatt and Al-Hariri contacted speaker Birri whose house was coming under fire. He informed both of them that he can’t accept Al-Hariri’s suggestions because the government took the decisions and only the government can revoke them while the army can only comply. Birri announced: “these decisions can only be cancelled by similar decisions. Do not try to maneuver legally. Why do you want to embroil the army even more?”…” - Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon

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