New Lebanese Prime Minister a Friend of Syria

(Ha'aretz) Zvi Bar'el - The incoming Lebanese prime minister is Najib Mikati, 55, a Sunni native of Tripoli and a close personal friend of Syrian President Bashar Assad. France also proposed Mikati for the premiership, after it became clear that the compromise prime minister suggested by Saudi Arabia and Syria had been rejected. But he knows why he was tapped for the job: to halt Lebanon's funding of and the return of Lebanese judges to the tribunal investigating Rafik Hariri's assassination. Hizbullah doesn't need Mikati to demonstrate its control over Lebanese politics. Any prime minister that meets its demands - including Saad Hariri - is good from its perspective. Lebanon will not suddenly become more Iranian or more "Hizbullian" than it was two days ago. It will primarily be more Syrian, as Syria does not want Iran to seize control in its traditional sphere of influence.

2011-01-26 08:53:49

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