Important Step Must Be Built Upon in Lebanon

  • 29 October 2008

Lebanese national reconciliation has recently taken a huge and important step, thanks to the talks between the leader of the Lebanese “Future Movement” Saad Hariri and Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. The meeting was able to diffuse tensions and bring a sigh of relief for the first time since May 7, 2006, and was welcomed by various Lebanese factions, because it made important headway on achieving the goals for the reconciliation project, both at the political and the sectarian levels. This meeting brought together two important parties and undoubtedly had a political effect on the Lebanese scene. It sent a positive message to the Lebanese people as well as to the Arab and international players that there is real will present among major Lebanese political forces to overcome the differences that have been weighing heavily on their relations. The importance of this meeting is not limited to its symbolic significance but extends to the eventual political positions that would have a bearing on the political situation of Lebanon. Reports indicate that both Hariri and Nasrallah have supported the upholding of the Doha and Taif agreements, and the necessity to enhance government work and continued communication between them to encourage the atmosphere of dialogue through steps that would lead to a state of calm. Information revealed also speaks of an atmosphere of candor dominating the meeting, which is most needed in Lebanon among different forces during this important transitional period. In addition, the meeting took place at a time when various political movements were also seeking to spread an atmosphere of conciliation and accord in Lebanon to overcome any sectarian outbreak of the political crisis. In this respect, it can be mentioned that the national assembly that happened on the occasion of the opening of the “Mosque of Mohammed the Faithful” in Beirut, and the visit by the Vice President of the Supreme Shiite Islamic Council to Tripoli, where he prayed behind the Mufti of Tripoli. In another encouraging move, sectarian posters were removed from the streets of Beirut. These events and gestures caused a conducive atmosphere for the Nasrallah–Hariri meeting and spread an atmosphere of calm and tranquility among Lebanese people.

The meeting between Nasrallah and Hariri represents a big turning point, that must be built upon to ahead on the reconciliation path, especially as the meeting was part of the efforts to make a preparatory framework for Lebanese national dialogue, in which many complex and sensitive issues would be discussed that would require every possible sign of goodwill among members.