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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid