News / Middle East

Qatar, Turkey Try to Mediate Lebanon Political Crisis

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, center, meets in Beirut with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, (l), and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (r), Jan 18 2011
Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, center, meets in Beirut with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, (l), and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (r), Jan 18 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Margaret Besheer

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar held talks for a second day Wednesday in Beirut, as they tried to mediate a political crisis that erupted when Hezbollah ministers pulled out of the unity government one week ago.

The political turmoil gripping Lebanon found no relief Wednesday as Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said his country had abandoned its lengthy mediation efforts to try to find a way out of the political impasse.

Meanwhile, Turkey and Qatar have stepped in, holding talks Tuesday with caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, parliament speaker Nabih Berri and President Michel Suleiman. The ministers also met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah at an undisclosed location, and continued talks Wednesday with other members of the opposition, including Christian General Michel Aoun.

VOA's Margaret Besheer in Beirut speaks with Middle East Monitor Host Susan Yackee:

They are hoping to bring stability to this tiny Mediterranean nation and find a way for the two opposing sides to agree to begin binding parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister.

The country's already fragile political situation deteriorated last week when Hezbollah, the Shiite political party that is backed by a very strong militia, withdrew its 11 ministers from the cabinet, forcing its collapse.

Hezbollah is angry that Saad Hariri, son of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, is supporting the work of a UN-backed tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating his father's 2005 assassination.

The Hague-based tribunal's prosecutor handed over a draft indictment on Monday to the pre-trial judge. The indictment was not made public, but it has been widely reported that members of Hezbollah may be implicated in the massive truck bombing that killed Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.

Hezbollah and its political allies have said they will not accept Saad Hariri as prime minister of a new government. But Hariri's allies say they will not offer any other candidate.

The latest stalemate has the county on edge as the Lebanese wait to see if regional neighbors can reach a peaceful compromise ending the paralysis and defuse the possibility of the situation deteriorating into street fighting among opposing Sunni and Shiite factions.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid