Crossfire War – Riyadh Watch – West Asia Theatre: Riyadh – Tehran – Damascus – Ankara – Beirut/Paris – Rome; House of Saud Purchases Lebanon’s Army – New Saudi Initiative to End Lebanon Impasse – Ex – Lebanese PM Salim Al-Hoss Visited Riyadh – Damascus – Tehran on Feb. 26
Night Watch: RIYADH – Money is a weapon. The House of Saud, the Taliban with money, has just purchased Lebanon’s Army with a “gift” after having made major aid pledges last month at the Paris III donor conference on Lebanon. However, this reduces whatever loyalty the military had left for the current Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. Riyadh has also enlisted the services of former Lebanon Prime Minister Salim Al-Hoss to play a crucial mediating role in the crisis. After meeting with Saudi King Abdullah, Al-Hoss then went to Damascus for a meeting with Syria President Bashar Al-Assad. After that, he is scheduled to go to Tehran next Monday on February 26. Look for major breakthroughs as a result. [AINALYAQEEN]
Al – Hoss stated, “I believe Saudi Arabia will launch an initiative to resolve the Lebanon crisis, just as it did when it gathered Lebanese feuding parties in Taif in 1989 when it stopped the civil war in 1990.” Al-Hoss has already met with Siniora. He added, “Threats to resort to civil disobedience are very serious… and we should try to find a solution in order not to reach such an extreme.”
Riyadh has also held consultations with Dr. Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Jozo, the Mufti of Jabal Lebanon. I suspect he will use his influence to have more Sunni leaders in Lebanon to support the call for a unity government instead of a national administration too closely connected with Paris and the West. These investments, debt relief packages and gifts are the Islamic establishment’s way of telling Beirut they can easily afford to do without handouts from Paris.