The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

TRANSLATED: Damascus intends to use reconstruction, refugee return files against Hariri as leverage

Translated today by our (for a free trial email

On September 15, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report: “The matter of the Lebanese-Syrian relations remains one of the main hanging issues as some parties in Lebanon, including PM Sa’d al-Hariri and his movement, and the head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, and his party as well as other sides, are refusing to re-normalize these relations, which would pave the way for solving a number of issues that Lebanon is suffering from starting with the issue of the Syrian displacement…all the way to the endeavors that some of these objecting parties are making to take part in Syria’s reconstruction.

“According to the visitors of the Syrian capital, there is some improvement of the relations on a number of levels such as the agriculture, the power, the water, the transportation, the transit and some other common matters although many details pertaining to these matters still require additional communication between the concerned parties in both countries. Thus, more meetings will be held in the upcoming days and the Minister of Agriculture, Ghazi Zaiter, will be visiting the Syrian capital for the second time in less than a month. In addition, a Syrian economic delegation headed by the assistant to the minister of economy and the General Director of the ministry of economy, Ali Abbas, will be visiting Beirut to discuss the common matters…

“The visitors indicate that the Syrian leadership is not concerned at all with the statements of some sides in Lebanon such as the head of the Lebanese Forces or others who do not want to acknowledge the Syrian regime since these parties can make no difference whatsoever and since their stubbornness will actually have negative repercussions on Lebanon in a number of areas, especially the issue of the displaced…

“As for the participation of some objecting parties in Lebanon in the reconstruction in Syria, this is impossible even if PM Al-Hariri was to try and channel his participation through Russian companies or Lebanese companies that do not have question marks about them. The visitors are saying that these objecting parties must realize that there will be no return for the displaced without launching a dialogue with Damascus independently of the settlement course in Syria. The same goes for participation in the reconstruction since the decision remains in the hands of the Syrian leadership, and this is a sovereign decision that didn’t change even at the direst circumstances of the Syrian crisis. Therefore, neither Russia nor Iran can impose such matters if Syria is not convinced.

“Thus, the visitors believe that the objecting positions aim at increasing the popularity of the objecting parties in addition to being a response to external demands imposed by Washington and Al-Riyadh… Proceeding to refuse a dialogue with Syria will cause Lebanon to bear major burdens at the level of the displaced. In addition, the objecting parties will not be taking part in Syria’s reconstruction.”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

September 15, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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