Monday, November 29, 2010

Here, France considers freezing the work of the Hariri tribunal to bolster Sanyurah

"MGM said he saw little chance of resolving Lebanon's domestic political crisis prior to the Lebanese presidential election in November 2007. Consequently, some had raised the idea of "putting the tribunal in the freezer" until that time, in hopes that a delay in setting up the tribunal would aid PM Siniora to break the political deadlock. "Of course, we (neither he nor Chirac) are not advocating this idea," MGM stressed at several points. Nevertheless, he continued, the Lebanese themselves might ask the French and the U.S. to put the tribunal on ice, in part because Siniora would need the opposition's help in order to deliver the economic reforms that the GOL is promising at this week's conference. The only other option, MGM continued, would be to change the scope of the tribunal itself -- something France found unacceptable. When pressed on why the French were contemplating a change in their approach to the tribunal at this point -- especially when it was unclear that Lebanon's opposition had the upper hand -- MGM made another (and somewhat jumbled) reference to the need to obtain the opposition's support for economic reform."