'Jumblatt meets Assad, says will nominate Hariri for PM'
LAST UPDATED: 01/16/2011 09:11
Lebanese Druze leader tells Hariri he'll support him as long as he remains committed to Syrian-Saudi deal; Nasrallah set to give speech.
Syrian President Assad and Druze leader Jumblatt Photo: AP
Druze leader Walid Jumblatt met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on
Saturday, saying, "My meeting with the Syrian president was excellent,"
Lebanese paper an-Nahar reported.
announced that he will declare his stance on the Lebanese governmental
crisis "at 3:45 p.m. Monday after my meeting with the President [Michel
Suleiman], as part of consultations" with his party, according to the
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The announcement followed a report from London-based al-Hayat
saying that Jumblatt and members of his political bloc would name
former prime minister and current Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Saad
Hariri as their nominee to head the new government.
The report added that Jumblatt told Hariri Friday he intended to name
him as prime minister as long as he remains committed to the
Saudi-Syrian agreement for resolving the crisis surrounding the Special
Tribunal for Lebanon report, expected to be released within days.
The crisis is the climax of long-simmering tensions over the UN tribunal
investigating the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former prime
minister Rafik Hariri.
The tribunal is widely expected to indict members of Hizbullah soon,
which many fear could rekindle violence in the tiny nation plagued for
decades by war and civil strife. Hizbullah denounces the
Netherlands-based tribunal as a conspiracy by the US and Israel and
demanded Hariri reject the court's findings even before they come out.
But Hariri has refused to break cooperation with the tribunal.
related news,l Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah was expected to speak
publicly Sunday night for the first time since his party's ministers
toppled the Lebanese government, Hizbullah's television station Al-Manar
The Shi'ite group's media outlet made a statement
Sunday saying: "Nasrallah will make an appearance on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
to comment on the latest developments."
Associated Press contributed to this report.