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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More