Aoun Defies Saad Hariri, Jumblatt Changes Position
Syria, Saudi fail to contain Lebanon crisis: Aoun (AFP) -- Jan 11, 2011 BEIRUT — Michel Aoun, a key Christian ally of Lebanon's Shiite party Hezbollah, said on Tuesday that Syrian-Saudi efforts had failed to contain a political crisis over a UN probe into the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri. "The Saudi-Syrian initiative has ended with no results. Prime Minister Saad Hariri has not responded to these efforts and we have now reached an impasse," Aoun told a news conference. "We were informed (of this failure) by our allies in Hezbollah and by all parties who are in contact with the main actors in this initiative, namely Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi King Abdullah." The statements come after Hariri, son of the slain ex-premier, held talks in New York with King Abdullah, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the situation in Lebanon. For months Lebanon has been at a political impasse over reports the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is believed to be set to indict Hezbollah members in connection with the 2005 assassination of Rafiq Hariri. Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, has warned it would not accept such an outcome and accuses The Hague-based STL of being part of a US-Israeli plot. The group has been pressuring Western-backed Saad Hariri to disavow the tribunal and has warned that Lebanon could be plunged into a full-blown crisis should any of its members be <b>...</b>
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