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Will Syrian and Saudi leaders' visit to Lebanon defuse tension?

11:24 UK time, Friday, 30 July 2010

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia are in Beirut for talks with Lebanese leaders. Will this defuse tension in the region?

It is the Syrian leader's first visit to Lebanon for five years after Syria was forced to withdraw its troops following the killing of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Mr Assad and King Abdullah are concerned that tensions may rise if, as rumoured, a UN tribunal indicts members of the Hezbollah movement for Mr Hariri's assassination.

Can the two leaders work together to help stabilise Lebanon? Will their visit benefit the region? Are you currently in Lebanon?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Will Syrian and Saudi leaders' visit to Lebanon defuse tension?

    2 of the most corrupt regimes in the modern world, one of them also one of the richest.

    I'm sure they can reach an 'accomodation' if they really want to.

    Be interesting to see if anybody tries to put the interests of the lebanese people above those of Hezbollah, because historically they barely get a mention in these deals.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Not really. I don't fully understand Middle East politics and I'm not going to pretend I do. One thing I believe though is that while ever arguments about politics in the Middle East harp on about things that happened centuries ago, all sides will believe that theirs is the only morally and spiritually right one. Just a shame the arguments are being fought with a nuclear deterrent.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Syria has always had its insidious hand in Lebanon. They hold the key the Iranians front against Israel, which has been open for years. It would be nice if the Syrians took a moderate and pragmatic line.
    As for the Saudi's, I don't see they have a lot of influence in the region.

  • Comment number 6.

    We should however try to control Saudi Arabia which has supported Pakistan nuclear program.Even today they have a simpathy for Islamic extremeists worldwide(e.g. Palestine,kashmir,Pakistan,Afghanistan etc)

  • Comment number 7.

    Assad and Abdullah must demand that Americans end this misguided occupation of Afghanistan. They have mounting casualties from month to month. NATO is led by idiots as army generals. Taliban and al Qada Forces will win by attrition, as Viet Cong were victorious in Southeast Asia.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Those are wise guys.
    A kind of unity could fix their platform against further bullies and would decrease the tension against the "laughing third party" as well...

  • Comment number 11.

    Ah! This is the funniest question for a while!

    No, of course it won't.

    "Mr Assad and King Abdullah are concerned that tensions may rise if, as rumoured, a UN tribunal indicts members of the Hezbollah movement for Mr Hariri's assassination."

    Yes, that's code for "Syria might invade Lebanon again to support their murderous attack dog, Hezbollah".

  • Comment number 12.

    This visit by the representatives of two odious regimes will not reduce tensions in sectarian Lebanon. The Hariri tribunal will soon release the truth about Hezbollah's role in a major political assassination, and the Syrians and Saudis want to suppress or smear it. They talk of maintianing Lebanon's "stability", which of course means "business as usual" for the terrorists and thugs of Hezbollah.

    And it was amusing to read the Syrian andf Saudi accusations that the UN Hariri tribunal is part of an Israeli plot - the UN can hardly be described as pro-Israel! Once again, we see the Arab regimes blaming the uglier aspects of their own culture on a Zionist conspiracy plot. There seems to be no hope for these ugly Arab regimes, which always try to hide their incompetence and sleaze by blaming the Israelis. Their attempts in this regard are like trying to disperse a fog with a hand grenade: after the flash and the thunder of their rhetoric, the fog of reality creeps back.

  • Comment number 13.

    "My enemy's enemy is my friend" -- for others.
    (Read Israel between the lines running thru others around her)

    "My enemy's friend is my friend" -- for the US.
    (Read between the barrels of oil rolling thru KSA in to US)

    Now to answer your question:

    Yes. With the arrival of the KSA King-leader and a King in verbal disguise Basar Assad, the tension will surely ease. But then, there is a side headline in the BBC tucked along to say that Hizbollah is entrenched in Lebanon. That sounds strange! Worm in the can? Perhaps. But then, like the all restive and irresistible Hamas in Palestine, Hizbollah is also a party once and then part of Siniora government for the animal instinct to erupt in Isreal often and on. Isn't it? That means, those two heads of nations coming to Lebanon are to apply vanishing cream to the presence of Hizbollah there?

    Answer that first.


  • Comment number 14.

    ref #7
    2010, sean56z wrote:
    Assad and Abdullah must demand that Americans end this misguided occupation of Afghanistan. They have mounting casualties from month to month. NATO is led by idiots as army generals. Taliban and al Qada Forces will win by attrition, as Viet Cong were victorious in Southeast Asia.
    ______________-

    No whay Abdullah must do is say that he will negoiate directly with Israel without preconditions and call for war crime trials for the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.

  • Comment number 15.

    Arab society is one based on family and 'tribe', as distinct from nationhood. In the modern world, their heads are titled King or President, but in essence each is head of his tribe or dynasty. Each Arab State has its ruling family whose path to that position often is blood stained and whose end similarly can be 'bloody'. T E Lawrence recognised this when he made his own proposals, ignored by the political classes, for the dividing up of the territory formerly ruled by the Ottoman Sultans. When two Arab leaders meet, it is usually to identify and resolve what amount to territorial disputes between them. So, who will get Lebanon?

  • Comment number 16.

    Strange how the Arab bloc in the UN danced with joy when they were able to coerce the UN into bringing pressure on Israel with the disgraceful biased Goldstone Report.But the Arab League and Hizbollah don't like it now that the UN is holding them to account.Now they know what it feels like.

  • Comment number 17.

    Looks to me like Lebanon is heading right back to 1982/3 when it last had a chance of achieving liberal,democratic government.That was ruined when the Syrian government had Lebanon's president blown up and got the Arab League's backing for a Syrian occupation to suppress instability that it had created.

    Well,the Syrian government with Hizbollah are trying the same trick again.

    The reason that the Syrian government spends so much time throwing abuse at the democratic,progressive State of Israel and calling it the cause of the Middle East's problems is to divert attention away from the fact that it's actually the undemocratic,authoritarian,expansionist Syrian government that's really the trouble-maker.

    Syrian and Saudi meddling in Lebanon's affairs won't benefit the Lebanese people.It'll just further the Syrian government's expansionist ambitions and could cause another two decades of violence and repression of the Lebanese people.

  • Comment number 18.

    hell no. they do not want too & will only be crushed in 10 years time tops.

    they don't send missiles to them if they want peace.

    Israel is evil, but they are just like what them. a end must come soon.

    after Afghanistan war is won, Iran must be next. nuclear bombs or not.

    they are full Nazis. you would be blind if you can not see that, but instead you will see 50 million suicide nuclear / let them off at once bombers.

    this is Armageddon. if they make 5, they will make 5,000.
    well they are building like 20 different plants ?????

    this may be Armageddon.

    Iran war would be won 500 times faster then Iraq war or Afghanistan war.

    lost of protesters are everywhere. men in exile from Iran will be Burt to power with all protesters very fast. you would not think it, but the Iran war would be won very fast. just like new government would take over every fast.

    Iran must be invaded ether way. they are Nazis / for real. they support terrorist big time. must be done to save the middle east. Syria as well. then Gaza & Israel should come together. but Israel will pay them mass money to use there land.
    what ever. it must all happen within in 10 years time. Iran must not get a nuclear bomb.
    Israel must pay for land / give them all jobs / if not rest good money & food.


  • Comment number 19.

    These two corrupt leaders of repressive dictatorships are there for one reason only: to support Hezbollah and let the Lebanese Christians know who really runs lebanon.

  • Comment number 20.

    Even if it does'nt defuse the very fact that the two ME nations are talking without the mediation/intervention of a western power by itself is a positive development.

  • Comment number 21.

    No, this visit will solve nothing. Saudi Arabia has sold out the Palestinian cause to the West because it wants the backing of US power to make it leader of the Muslim world. It is using its oil for this purpose but in reality Saudi Arabia is a backward society. This doesn't qualify it for leadership of anything, let alone the Muslim world. So long the Saudis remain a poodle of America I don't see any unity in the region. So best to let Lebanon split naturally along its religious fault lines rather than waste resources trying to hold it together.

  • Comment number 22.

    Who knows what the answer will be, but what I really like is to see non-western leaders in the news for a change having a diplomatic go at things. It's not only refreshing it's good for mass public consciousness, as, since one thing can lead to another, we may at some point all agree that we are all people together despite our cultural differences and try to get along with each other. And that includes a proper viable large enough state of Palestine for those poor people who had their homes nicked from illegal immigrants who insist they have a right to a homeland, and Biblically not really, but historically maybe they do.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    King Abdullah and Bashir al-Assad are talking to each other about Lebanon.
    As the backer of Hizballah, soon to be named by the UN as the guiding force behind the assissination of Rafik Hariri, how is al-Assad going to explain to the Lebanese and the Saudis that his protege dare not be touched and that they will continue to have a free hand to undermine all the political processes in Lebanon when they don't coincide with the specific aims of Hizballah, to cause another war with Israel, which will once again cause massive destruction to the Lebanese economy.
    The only way these leaders are going to move forward towards a calm and peaceful Middle East is to immediately declare that they are willing to talk with Israel without any preconditions. These are the only possible move which will pull the carpet from under the feet of Hizballah, and their cronies the Hamas in Gaza.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    Wazzup ?? Maybe they could of used their blackberries or thimbleberries, whatever? To save themselves the trip. Then while they're at it; give Barack a call ........ he's lonely at the top.

    Nope they'll have a good ol' feast at Lebenon's expense, then get back to their own little empires. ... tout suis, less they spoil the publicity.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    This was going to happen sooner or later.

    The west, especially the US, has shown that they cannot act as honest brokers when Lebanon was attacked by Israel. Where was the concern for Lebanese when they were bombed night and day and thousands of innocence were killed? Let's stop the hypocrisy.

    As the influence of the US and the west wanes, it is only natural that regional blocks of co-operation will form without the interference of US and the west.

  • Comment number 29.

    "Will Syrian and Saudi leaders' visit to Lebanon defuse tension?"

    A secular Shia leader and a conservative Sunni leader meeting with a conservative Shia.

    I can just see them getting along finely.

    Seriously though, every source of tension in the Middle-East is due to the interference of any given country by its neighbours.

    I fail to see how any tension can be defused without the recognition of Israel and a Palestinian state by all, as a prelude to a region-wide meeting that includes all leaders - Arab and Israeli.

  • Comment number 30.

    Will Syrian and Saudi leaders' visit to Lebanon defuse tension?

    What tension?
    When Israel attacked Lebanon non-stop for 34 days, where were those concerned world leaders or media? That WAS tension.

    Nobody wanted to help them then. Now that they start to realize that and starts helping themselves, the rest of the "concerned" citizens of the world cries foul.

  • Comment number 31.

    They'll just blame Israel and "evil" Zionists for all their problems. Just more politics ME style. Personally I don't really care for these theocratic and authoritarian regimes bickering with each other over regional domination.

  • Comment number 32.

    The expected indictment of Hezbollah is just a backdoor attempt by the US and its UN poodle to seek to undermine Iran yet again. Most conflicts in the world will disappear if the US and its UN and Sunni poodles accept that Iran has a right to power and influence in the world too.

  • Comment number 33.

    for a just world wrote:
    The expected indictment of Hezbollah is just a backdoor attempt by the US and its UN poodle to seek to undermine Iran yet again. Most conflicts in the world will disappear if the US and its UN and Sunni poodles accept that Iran has a right to power and influence in the world too.

    ____________

    Great have a nation who has intolerance for any religion but Islam, denise the Holocoust, supports terrorisms and treats women like chattel

  • Comment number 34.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 35.

    At 6:57pm on 30 Jul 2010, Jeff Phua wrote:
    Will Syrian and Saudi leaders' visit to Lebanon defuse tension?

    What tension?

    ---

    There is increasing tension here in Lebanon at the moment due to the forthcoming report of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The tension is palpable and people are feeling edgy, worried that come September there will be a repetition of the events of May 2008 or even worse. The leaders of the Syrian Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia speak to different groups here and, whatever the games being played behind the scenes, if that can help in any way whatsoever, it has to be worth it.

    In 2008 I went to a travelling Hezbollah martyrs exhibition in a small town in the south of Lebanon and was amazed by how slick, thorough and professional it was, with 'tour guides' available to explain everything in fluent English, a huge collection of martyr-related items/memorabilia, an audio-visual show, café and gift shop. If Hezbollah is as well organised as this in a relatively small matter, just imagine the potential they have in larger matters. Anything the leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia can do to calm things can only help.

  • Comment number 36.

    Problems within the two countries need solving, such as the conservatives and fundamental elements. Promoting education and human rights to one and all without any reservations. Syria and Iran was the intellectual centre of the world for many centuries. Refer to: BBC TV programs on Science and Islam. The dead lock created by implanting an illicit state in the heart of that region has to be resolved peacefully, as the policies of US are far from peaceful in that region and their unconditional support for the state of Israel. The violent manners of Zionists have to end. US is keeping the region preoccupied in conflicts and waging wars on neighbouring countries. Not only the Middle Eastern nations but the whole world has to speak out that wanton killing and mayhem has to end. On a more serious note, Great Britain should accept the fact that the Balfour Declaration was an error which indeed it was and let the world know the fact.

  • Comment number 37.

    As all informed people know (let's admit they are not a majority) the origin of the split between Lebanon and Syria is colonialism and not internal disputes. Syria and Lebanon are closer ethnically, culturally historically than say England and Wales. The fault lines between these two countries are not deeper than those within each of these countries, which happen to be symmetrical. Colonialism or the new face of it, is still involved with these two countries and their internal relations. It is in the West's and Israel's interest that these two countries maintain a hostile relation and that's what they are (have been?) doing. The west is to blame for creating this hostile relation and the local leaders are to blame for having fallen in the traps the West set up for them.

    Regards
    Richard Soudah

  • Comment number 38.

    I have actually requested that Graham's comment be removed, and was instead advised by the moderator to post my opposing view. And I am indeed doing so, for I believe that calling for "them" to have a little war is a call for free violence that endangers innocent lives. The BBC should not condone such views, even if we would all be better off without the likes of Hamas, Hizbollah, Al Qaeda and Taliban. And their supporters. We would also be better off without any extremist group that calls for violence, be it Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. Even if they are called Graham.

    And in answer to the question: it is time that we let the Lebanese cater for their own business without any foreign interference. They can do alright if left alone.

  • Comment number 39.

    Excellent news.

    Sad to see so many posting those old - anti Arab-Herzbollah-Syria clichés. Herzbollah are part of Lebanon - a majority. Which is why they are not a terrorist group as Israelis try to say, but a resistance movement.

    Syria has been trying to open a dialogue with Israel which has been systematically ignored. Netanyahu has NEVER made an effort towards peace. (therefore, will he get this years pre-emptive Nobel peace prize?)

    Saudi (and Egypt) will have problems of succession very soon, so all their new openings/attitudes should be watched very carefully. Their political immobility could cause problems for their proposed successors

    But the main item here is that if Syria (Baathist-secular) increases it's ties with Saudi Arabia (Wahabite and keeper of Mecca - Religious), then the "prize" being offered to Israel (normalized relationships with the Arabic world) becomes even more comprehensive. It would only take a small step for Israel but it would be a great step for humanitarian values. What are they waiting for ?

    +++ meanwhile, the daily situation for Arab-Israelis in Jerusalem, Palestinians, Gazans and the Bedouin of the Negeve, of bulldozing and settler theft of private lands and houses continues, WITH support from soldiers, and out of sight of most of the media. When Israel, finally, adheres to the shared values of rest of the world, THAT will be a day of rejoicing.

  • Comment number 40.

    Diffuse tensions from the Saudi and Syrian point of view would mean deflecting accountability. The Syrians and the Saudis would rather have the status quo than a weakened Hezbollah in the region. This is hardly a mission of diplomacy. I would expect them to try and strengthen the Hezbollah financially and militarily in the lead up to the indictment.

  • Comment number 41.

    I do not believe much will come out of the meeting of Assad and Abdullah for a very simple reason that seems to elude most of the posts I've read yet: whether members of Hizbollah are indicted or not, it will make precious little difference. Many Bosnian Serb war criminals were indicted and despite radical, West-leaning changes in the Serbian government, these war criminals have not been delivered to the Hague yet (and probably never will be!). The same would happen to indicted Hizbollah members: Nasrallah would make a big fuss about the indictment and the Lebanese government would make an even bigger fuss about their ongoing efforts to catch and deliver those indicted and yet, no one will be delivered: the culprits would "go underground" and for anyone vaguely familiar with Beirut, the underground can run deep there.... So, the way I see it, this is all a storm in a teacup.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    Its a good move, as it will ease tensions between Lebanon and Syria. But the Americans wouldnt want these two to be more cozy. But its the need of the hour, with reports coming in that Israel is ready to attack Lebanon again in the near future. Syria and Lebanon must understand where the real enemy lies. As for Saudis, Kind Abdullah is only there to help in etching out a deal with the influence that hes got in the region.

  • Comment number 45.

    No.

  • Comment number 46.

    If they realy want peace ... and they mean it ,let them invite Israelis as well to Beirut once for all and make peace ... it is very hard to forget , but one must forgive ... We want to see our Kids Grow up and Live side by side with Love and respect to one another , not hate , not revange , but help and prosper together , we all will prosper together ... Lebanese , Israelis and Syrians . Please Make Peace for your Kids ... For Your Countries , For Your Ansasters ... For all of us ...

  • Comment number 47.

    I believe, if US wants to achive something seriously then why it is not possible. If US can force and impose sanctions on Iran, then why not impose or force soemthing on israel so they cannot get away with everything they do even in international waters, and there is nothing imposed on Israel. Same is happening in labenon, they want to defuse thing, not worse. but political games are played and created more bad atmoshphere so there is not peace in that region. Like what Assad said, they are trying to take something on their own hands now, so they can deal with it themselves, rather then rely US, but what did US did. Nothing, but worse. I bet you, once America stands firm on feet and says, we implement this like 1967 borders then it can be done. America is the one not doing it. why???? think??? This will never end, and my believe is will not be let to finish, so muslims can die for nothing.

  • Comment number 48.

    ref #47
    peace wrote:
    I believe, if US wants to achive something seriously then why it is not possible. If US can force and impose sanctions on Iran, then why not impose or force soemthing on israel so they cannot get away with everything they do even in international waters, and there is nothing imposed on Israel.
    ____________-

    Because Israel is not the international terrorist threat that Iran is. They defended themselves against Turkish terrorists who were at fault in the entire situation.

    The only mistake is the restraint Israel showed and the fact that the rest of the hate activisted were not put on trial.

  • Comment number 49.

    Afghanistan is Barack Obama's little pipe dream. He views the country as his Camelot. America has financially bankrupted fighting a deluded, hallucinatory war in the Middle East. Obama should take his thorazine and haldol before considering his next move.

  • Comment number 50.

    tell me when did ever Iran atacked any other country, or invaded or captured land like israel did?? There are many jews living in israel and go on you tube, and type, Ahmejadin meets US jews, similar topic, you will find the truth. The jews there support him, because that same jew on you tube says, that in israel, they are zionist, and doing wrong. Do not only see the news I would rather go deep and find the fact first. Even when Iraq was invaded, last week, hans blix, chief inspector, read his comments, gave the tribunal his comments, that there were no arsenal or mass weapons and he told Tony blair a month before that, but still they went on war. That time Iraq was bad, now Iran is bad. go on you tube, and kenneth O'keen, what he said. He was ex-marine in US, and what he said. He was on flitilla, when attacked in international waters and he was full of blood. While he disarmed 3 israeli commondo's himself,and released them too. What did they do, killed innocent people and also see the smuggled vedio that emerged where they prove that there were no weapons on board. You will see the video, while israeli's approaching the flotilla and even shooting. Please go do the homework first, then call someone who is wrong. All the way isreal is wrong and you will know one day.

  • Comment number 51.

    i believe that anything that comes from countries like syria,which is a key player in the region is essential. the real threats come from Israel the military only nuclear power in the region.and the only countrie that used disprportionate power against its neighbours .Its Israel that killed thousands of lebanese since the seventies and it is in the interest of israel to have weak instable Lebanon. For those who blame Hizballah ,hizballah is just a lebanon political party with a military branch that erupted in response to Israel attacks against defensless lebanese since the seventies.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    # 33 MagicKirin wrote of Iran:

    Great have a nation who has intolerance for any religion but Islam, denise the Holocoust, supports terrorisms and treats women like chattel
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you were an Arab Bedouin who have lived on your ancestral land that predated the Ottoman Empire, you get the pleasure of the civilised and democratic state of Israel demolishing your home whilst at the same time an alien settler mob brutally attack you and your family with the police and soldiers of the democratic and civilised state of Israel looking on in gleeful approval.

    Iran doesn't half treat anyone as indecent and scornful as Israel treats Arabs and Muslims. Iran is a great civilisation, ancient and modern, that has much to teach the world. If you want a Muslim country that keeps women imprisoned in veils and have them stoned to death habitually, that would be our friends, none other than Saudi Arabia.

  • Comment number 54.

    there are many thousands of jews living in Iran right now and who met Ahmejadan in new york and go on you tube and type Ahmejadin met new york jews, and see what jews said, hear it with your own ears. They are not even harmed an milimeter in Iran and look at Isreal, who are killing children and women. why not go on you tube and see that too, about the killing of innocent people in palistine. what if someone comes to your land and tries to take your home, what will you do. and please go on google and compare the borders, from 1967-2010, see the difference there, who much was isreal first and now. you will be shocked. That might make u think, where do palistine people should go and why are the fighting for. Cannot believe, in thhis world, why are you and everyone not thinking, that they have right to defend themselves, and yes alaindelon, you are right. when isreal was in lebonoon, they are the one who invented Hazbullah, for what, to defend Lebonon. They emerged to defend, they are terrorist too. lol. What if someone comes to your country, and then suddenly there are u and other group try to create yourself to defend, and you are labelled terrorist and on top get you people killed too. I bet you will be happy and happy to continue to talk with your enemy. would you? would u Like UK and Us label u terrorist and will u welcome them when they will supply all the weapons to get u and your country men killed. I bet you guys will love them lol. please come to senses now, its been 50 years of blood shed, how far would u go to be patient.

  • Comment number 55.

    Well at least they are trying and hopefully they are doing so without western interference.

  • Comment number 56.

    It will ONLY if the parties concerned and involved are honest and truthful.
    They should first ensure peace in Palestine and the formation of a sovereign state for the oppressed and suppressed who live in a prison -like conditions.
    The zionist and terrorist state of Israel always clamour for "security"!!! Why can't Lebanon and the Ghaza and West Bank demand peace and security from Israeli attacks of barbarism?

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    Judging by the "many" response to this "hot" topic it appears it is the fault of the Zionists. Boring ladies and gentlemen. BORING.

  • Comment number 59.

    The only tension in the area is caused by israel every time they think there may be peace

  • Comment number 60.

    Middle Eastern politics is so complicated that it boggles the mind. I personally can't keep track of the ends and outs of all the political deals, and sectarian groups liking or disliking one another. If the Middle East can come to the conclusion that in fighting for self interests doesn't work in the long run maybe they can finally come to terms with the fact that splinter groups developed in the name of this religious group, and that religious group needs to come to the realization that people are people, and what is good for one group is good for the all groups no matter what their religious and/or political beliefs are.

  • Comment number 61.

    Lebanon could be a great modern country if it wasnt held hostage to Irans pitbull(Hizbollah).

    Sadly with recent reports that both Syria and Iran supplying Hizbollah with Scud missiles it really seems likely that we will see another conflict erupt.

    Of course we know who most of you will blame,dont we.

  • Comment number 62.

    At 00:15am on 31 Jul 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Because Israel is not the international terrorist threat that Iran is. They defended themselves against Turkish terrorists who were at fault in the entire situation.

    The only mistake is the restraint Israel showed and the fact that the rest of the hate activisted were not put on trial.

    Seems like someone does not understand international law, attacking a boat in international waters is piracy when performed by a government it is an act of war, taking captors is kidnapping so the only terrorist in this case is israel, as it is nearly everytime there is a war in the Middle East.

  • Comment number 63.

    At 2:39pm on 30 Jul 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #7
    2010, sean56z wrote:

    No whay Abdullah must do is say that he will negoiate directly with Israel without preconditions and call for war crime trials for the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.

    I think you forgot the leaders of israel in the call for war crimes to be investigated

  • Comment number 64.

    Syria seems to keep a historical sovereignty to treat Lebanon and Saudi Arabia is a financial supporter for Lebanon because Lebanon is just next to Israel for front line of Saudi Arabia.

    Muslims always want to eliminate Jews in Middle East land, under this same target these two country leaders can influence Lebanon to coordinate the two parties--Christianity and Muslim. After all. Christianity is monority in Lebanon, most of Lebaneses are Muslim. If they can ease tension in Lebanon, it is good for total area relations of Middle East countries.

  • Comment number 65.

    So much of Middle East politics is conducted under the table, few people in this world really know what is being said between the parties there and probably no one on this site..

  • Comment number 66.

    Syria and Saudi Arabia have more Right being involved in Labanon than US which is not even in the Region and Israel which identifies with Europe.

    Well intended or Not, outside Meddling is the main source of Friction in most parts of the world, primarily by the same culprits in manipulation mode.

    Getting Involved beats Invasion and Occupation by any measurement.

  • Comment number 67.

    Abeer and I do think that this visit is done to shut the public who are demanding for a change with a misleading title (to solve the tension). We do not expect anything to happen after this visit, because, like usual, leaders of this part of the world rarely walk their talk.

  • Comment number 68.

    Long ago,one Pakistani leader made a comment about Arabs. I remember
    his comments 0+0+0=0. The Arab has no unity, they are one behind another.In fact, the world should not expect anything from them except some massive investments in luxury buildings, pleasure homes and big accounts in European and American banks. Of course, they have some strategies to protect their kingdoms and sheikhdoms. As long as they have oil wealth, they are valued in western world. If ever oil dried up the kings and sheikhs will have no proble if their assets are not frozen by the western powers on any pretext.

    King and Asad will visit Lebanon, they will discuss about Hezbullah, Hamas and other palestinians. The discussions will center around some pleasing words for USA, unity among the palestinians, sympathy for Lebanese and Israel's new settlements. There may be some joint communique on their discussions. What else should we expect from them? The major players are not the arab kings so their meeting and discussions are for face-saving. Syria lost Golan Heights to Israel 40 years back, did it succeed to get it back yet?

    I am not in Lebanon. We speak from history because long trouble in ME is bothering us and economic recessions for prolonged wars and conflicts.

  • Comment number 69.

    If the visit is arranged to diffuse the tension between the Syria and Lebanon, for doing of a repentance of the former for its wrongful action although not admitted for doing the killing of the former PM of Lebanon Rafik Hariri during the year 2005 through execution of a perfect plan to implement cruel Agenda of others staying outside the border of Lebanon, for the sole purpose of rebuilding the loosing influences of fueling tension in the area through executing of command from outside in hiding ; is for allowing the aforesaid desire to turn into reality with the help of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, we welcome the effort but if any other Political Agenda is accompanying with the visit to allow evil elements to get a boost for doing wrongful adventures within it once again to force others living within the area to raise a suspicion of wrongful collaboration with each other, it shall proved to be very dangerous initiation to the entire Middle East, which might flare up into a uncontrollable situation. Accordingly we hope that such hidden Agenda is absent in meeting three Great Leaders of value.

    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 70.

    To be honest, whether things happen or not, I see this as a positive development. These two leaders have the potential to find a solution for Lebanon and fight against Hizbollah. Although the odds are that this won't bring an instant solution, baby steps are needed if we are going to come to a long term epoch of peace. This lays the foundation for future talks. It's a start.

  • Comment number 71.

    38. At 9:20pm on 30 Jul 2010, Ray66 wrote:
    I have actually requested that Graham's comment be removed, and was instead advised by the moderator to post my opposing view. And I am indeed doing so, for I believe that calling for "them" to have a little war is a call for free violence that endangers innocent lives. The BBC should not condone such views, even if we would all be better off without the likes of Hamas, Hizbollah, Al Qaeda and Taliban. And their supporters. We would also be better off without any extremist group that calls for violence, be it Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. Even if they are called Graham.

    And in answer to the question: it is time that we let the Lebanese cater for their own business without any foreign interference. They can do alright if left alone.

    ------------------------------

    I too would never condone any act in which innocent lives are lost but I do reserve the right to post my view. Self-elected censors are just that, only interested in their own viewpoint. The BBC will remove the posting as they always pander to pacifist viewpoints and will cowtail when they are told they are condoning this and that. I do not care about this debate, I wish all the parties that I mentioned would just disappear, that is the truth. All three of these countries can in no way be described as innocent, the Islamic factions in Lebanon have fired missiles into Israel for years, I could not begin to list all the things I see wrong with KSA but maybe their behind scenes sponsership of Al Qaeda is top of the bill. There has been another debate on HYS recently, that of Al Megrahi and the Lockerbie bombing. Everything points to the man's innocence and Syrian complicity. So I would like these countries and the groups I mentioned to simply vanish.

  • Comment number 72.

    Jacqueline wrote: all sides will believe that theirs is the only morally and spiritually right one !

    I'm sorry Jacqueline, but on one side you have our Welt-schaum of beliefs be they atheist, Christian, Jewish, Jeudo-Christian etc (love-marriage, compassion,caring & sharing) and then you have the Welt-schaum of the other nations with a book written to act as a Mirror opposite to these very basics.

    Now which one is right i do not wish to speculate, but they are exact opposites and completely incompatible / opposed and only one can survive & only one will eventually win out !

  • Comment number 73.

    What is sorry in all this is that these leaders are even more out of touch with their people than their western counterparts. Their own agendas make a mokery of the term "negociation" (don't mention peace talks...).

  • Comment number 74.

    Yes, they can make things calm.
    Bashar AlAssad has influence on Hizbullah and King Abdullah has great influence on Prime minister Hariri and his group.

  • Comment number 75.

    The search for peace should be never ending. One should never assume that these talks would hurt the search for peace. On the contrary the Arab nations and Israel should discuss ways out of the impasse privately and publicly. For the sake of generations to come, there needs to be good faith and transparency on both sides. Let us hope the talks would herald the olive branch to be shown!

  • Comment number 76.

    Probably Not, Syria cannot stop their machivellian schemes in the Lebanon and nobody listens to Saudi.
    The only people who can achieve anything in this region are The Lebanese and Israel.
    Hezbollah and Israel need to talk rationally and reasonably ............fat chance !!

  • Comment number 77.

    There will never be peace in the middle east.Well not total peace any way

  • Comment number 78.

    The 2 most undemocratic leaders of the Middle East are getting together to help Lebanon? They created the problems there at first place by supporting different groups at any time in Lebanon... and no I don't really think they can help Lebanon now their chance came and gone long time ago now there are different players there who are harsher and much worst then these 2

  • Comment number 79.

    A kiss on both cheeks, suspicion from everyone, laughter in the corridors and sharpening the ceremonial dagger behind closed doors.

  • Comment number 80.

    Syrian and Saudi leaders visit Lebanon to defuse tension between Shias and Sunnis. Answer as simple as that!

  • Comment number 81.

    #48 MagicKirin wrote in response to # 47:
    Because Israel is not the international terrorist threat that Iran is. They defended themselves against Turkish terrorists who were at fault in the entire situation.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Israel not a terrorist state ?. How did it come about into existence and why are Palestinians living in concentration camps (or as PM David Cameron euphemistically it, prison ?

    Resistance to Israel exist because it is doing something wrong. Something very wrong. Like dispossessing people of their god given rights and land. No matter how much you denounce the resistance as terrorists, they will continue until their god given rights are restored.

  • Comment number 82.

    Lebanon is Iranian owned and has been since the early 80's.
    The southern shia population have pictures of khomeini on their walls.

    The Christians are now in the minority and have lost their country to Islamic extremism.

    The goal of Hezbollah of course is to destroy Israel. Their allegiance is to the paymasters in Tehran.

    The only future Lebanon has is to split on sectarian lines. The Christians, the Sunni and the Shia and create three states. That way the Christian state can start developing and modernising which is what they're crying out to do but are being held back by the Islamist entity.

  • Comment number 83.

    No VISIT is going to impact anything in the Middle East . End the Israeli OCCUPATION ! Now THAT will do something for PEACE.

  • Comment number 84.

    It will defuse tentions between the two countries, but not in the Middle East as such.
    In my opinion, the Hariri assassination wasn't just red in blood, but implanted with a huge RED FLAG.
    In 2009, UN Special Tribunal, Pre-trial Judge, Daniel Fransen, ordered the release 4 Lebanese generals - the 4 generals that were considered involved in the conspiracy. The release occurred because the evidence against Syria was so FLIMSY that it could not withstand the pressures of an actual trial. (Chief UN Prosecutor, Canadian Daniel Bellemare, asked Fransen to drop the case because a key witness retracted his testimony.)
    What do I think happened?
    The Bush administration with its closest Middle East ally murdered Hariri.
    Why?
    To weaken Lebanon by forcing the removal of Syrian troops.
    In 2008, the UN Special Tribunal reported to the UN Security Council, with these words: “Those responsible for the attacks were professional. They took extensive measures to cover their tracks. Much of the Commission’s activity now focuses on piercing the smokescreen."
    Meanwhile, in 2006, a senior French DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) said that Hariri's assassination was planned by Israel’s Mossad. According to the DGSE officer, Israel and the United States wanted to blame Syria for the assassination so that there might occur a colourful Lebanese revolt against Syria.
    A UN panel headed by former Canadian Prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare has concluded that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by a ‘criminal network’ – note: NOT Hezbollah specifically. The UN has refrained from identifying the members of the "criminal element".
    Why would the US and Israel want Syrian troops out of Lebanon?
    1. close the border with Iraq to prevent troops from entering Iraq to battle the US invasion and
    2. leave Lebanon wide open for the Israeli assault in 2006.
    Of course, the Obama administration continues to support the Bush-neocon statement that the attack was Syrian.
    I say it was red flag. Further I say that it's great that the Syrians and Saudis (as well as other Middle Eastern countries) are beginning to question what really happened, beginning to put together the bloodied, ugly pieces and see the truth.

  • Comment number 85.

    ref #81
    Resistance to Israel exist because it is doing something wrong. Something very wrong. Like dispossessing people of their god given rights and land
    ____________-

    the Palestinians never had any legal claim to the land. Israel bought the land before for 48 and won wars in 48 and 67 when they were attacked.

    The only reason so much time is spent criticizing Israel is because the majority of the state is Jewish. Non Jews can do all the human right violations they want in your and the U.Ns book.

    The Lebanese own reperations to israel for allowing Hezbollah to operate in Lebanon and the U.N is guilty for sheild islamic terrorist in both Gaza and Lebanon.

    Abdullah you are no Sadat, you are a cowardly custodian who does not have the courage to make peace!

  • Comment number 86.

    If the current visit is arranged to diffuse the tension between the Syria and Lebanon, for doing of a repentance of the former for its wrongful action although not admitted for doing the killing of the former PM of Lebanon Rafik Hariri during the year 2005 through execution of a perfect plan of planting remotely control Explosive Device on the road for implementing a common cruel Agenda of others staying outside the border of Lebanon more at ease which however fail to produce any direct or indirect result, the following the assassination; we whole heartedly welcome the effort.

    But, in order to retry the action through adopting of a different method for the sole purpose of rebuilding the loosing influences of fueling tension in the area to enable one to execute command from outside, very much hiding oneself ; if the current arrangement is taking place for allowing the aforesaid desire to turn into reality with the help of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, we condemn such an effort in no uncertain terms being elevation of such Political Agenda to allow evil elements to get a boost for doing of wrongful adventures within the area once again shall do good to none other than raising of a suspicion of wrongful collaboration to others living near the area as we are observing of one action after another in the area to infuse such disturbances reasonless.

    Under such circumstances, it shall prove to be very dangerous initiation of dialogue to the entire Middle East, which might flare up into an uncontrollable situation. Accordingly we hope that such hidden Agenda is absent in meeting of three of the Great Leaders of value.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

    [This is a revise version of the earlier Submission on the Subject to make the meaning clearer]



  • Comment number 87.

    How will you get peace when you have An Angry Rotweiller on one side of the fence (Israel) Being continuously poked with a stick by Hezbollah.
    The innocent people in the middle always suffer the results of this.

  • Comment number 88.

    No, Psychoholics are resistant to any who attempt to wrest their Life-preserver.

  • Comment number 89.

    If the meeting is toward positive results, then so be it. Better to have something than nothing. Hizbollah should have merged with Lebanon's military a long time ago. It is things like this that results from militancy in the long term. Especially the ones that are religion/sect based. Those are the dangers of militancy in the long term.

    Leaders should also help to resolve the Palestinian refugee issue. I didn't see anyone working to help resolve that issue. It is and will create problems for all parties if that isn't resolved. Right now, they are only being used to political purposes. Yes, even after half a century.

    It appears that in modern day Middle Eastern politics, ethnic and religious identity are just inevitable assumptions before intented results are to be brought forth.

    Many unresolved issues and voids were left behind around the world when the British Empire came to an end after WWII. What is going on in Lebanon/Syria is just one of them. And the locals just could not resolve it themselves. USA? Currently the only super power? Oh yeah, their leaders are too busy in their silly little wars. Yes, even after the Cold War ended.

    Instead of focusing on personal gains and whatever suits another's ideas, try to get to the actual problem and solve it! Have they ever heard of problem solving?

  • Comment number 90.

    King Abdullah is expaining to Assad why he gave Israel tacit approval to take out those Iranian nuclear bomb program sites. I believe he will advise Assad to stay out of the fight after that happens. The Saudis are masters of this "Under the Table" diplomacy, on the surface they may show soldiarity with the Palestinians and that concern may be genuine but they know the real threat to them and the entire region is a Nuclear armed Iran.
    The Saudi leadership has always been very intellegent and pragmatic.

  • Comment number 91.

    #90 ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    King Abdullah is expaining to Assad why he gave Israel tacit approval to take out those Iranian nuclear bomb program sites. I believe he will advise Assad to stay out of the fight after that happens. The Saudis are masters of this "Under the Table" diplomacy, on the surface they may show soldiarity with the Palestinians and that concern may be genuine but they know the real threat to them and the entire region is a Nuclear armed Iran.
    The Saudi leadership has always been very intellegent and pragmatic
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When a pro zionist is bear hugging and lavishing praise on the nation that gave rise to Al Qaeda, then it must smack of desparation. The Saudis are indeed intelligent and pragmatic and that's why they could never give Israel approval, tacit or otherwise, to attack Iran. Because they know they will be the first country Iran will annialate.

  • Comment number 92.

    #85 MagicKirin wrote:

    the Palestinians never had any legal claim to the land. Israel bought the land before for 48 and won wars in 48 and 67 when they were attacked.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If I should buy all the land in the UK, that still would not give me sovereign right to the UK. That belongs to the people as it should be. The unquestinable fact that cannot be denied is that zionists used brutal and murderous force to remove the Palestinian people from their land. Not satisfied, they then provoked every war with their Arab neighbours in order to grab more land. And they are still at it despite the condemnation of the UN and the international community at large. You can denounce resistance to dispossession and occupation as terrorism as much as you like but the unpalatable truth is, it serves a purpose and will not go away until the wrongs are righted.

  • Comment number 93.

    Their visit to Lebanon does not mean peace. They do not have to live their houses to allow peace to reign if they want. All they have to do is to stop giving money to the terrorists camps.

  • Comment number 94.

    I am not sure we should hope for the tension to be diffused. For what exactly? For history to repeat itself in a few months and to find Lebanon again staring at sectarian strife? Then whose visit do we look forward to? Lady Gaga? The reality is this: if a sectarian war in Lebanon benefits the region then it will happen. Just like it did in 1975, 82, 86, 90s, etc. The real problem with these wars is that they never really ended. So next time it happens, I say we don't let them stop until there's a clear cut winner or, until all 17 sects are so depleted that there is no alternative but for secularism. The latter is the only way I am going to get my country back.

    In the meantime, I am drinking fine Colorado beers while catching up on my country's news by skimming a Lebanese newspaper, issued back in 1986... some things don't change.

  • Comment number 95.

    Hey everyone, who is reading this please read it very carefully and please reply in one thing on your mind, peace and harmony.

    If you think of what happened in NI, and bombing in UK, did the UK replied NI with same manner, with guns or they sat down and had talk. Well talk. What happened, peace prevailed. What if UK replied and attacked, it would be same as middle east and even worse.But UK knew that bringing fight on their door step is not right. Well job done.

    Have you all guys ever seen, that in the world, there are many countries have NATO forces include labanon, so there is peace. Africa, and many other places there are peace forces deployed.

    Once for all, please, why not they adopt a policy, to send peace force in palistine and watch the borders. Even you know, Obama and Cameroon did say, situation in Gaza is bad and not right, killing and starving children and ruining the economy. Is that right?? to get in return peace.

    Northern Ireland had their differences had the same parties, no one called them terrorist but gave them chance to talk. Hamas is elected by Gaza people, why not try to give a chance to talk, I bet you, it will work, but instead isreal is starving them to death. Would you talk in return???

    When ever there is a will from US and UK to do something, they would do it. But why are they not trying to not negotiate for peace force in palistine.

    Kenneth O'Keefe,see him beaten on Flotilla and him being ex-marine, he was there to tell the truth what happened on international water, please go on you tube and find him there and see the truth.

    Please go on you tube and type for Bashar Al Assad interview in June or may 2010, and hear yourself what he said in 1 hour interview, he wants peace, but they way he is saying is nothing wrong.

    There are always bad guys in every part of world, but sometimes you have to put effort to talk to them, example of Northern Ireland. But since this is in middle east, no one is taking interest as closely it should be.

    Please see yourself on you tube, an american girl peace activist being crushed by isreal bulldozer. See an UK peace activit getting shot in head by israel by purpose.

    I can gurantee you that US and UK are serious about talk and peace, I swear to God, they can unite the arab world, which they say we will recognise isreal in return of peace and palistine land, then why are they just waiting and waiting.

    5 members of UN, can sit on one table with north korea to talk, why cannot they do same with Arab world. why can't they do with Iran.

    Iraq was a threat, who was supplied by UK and US and no one said at that time. Hanx Blix, go on you tube and hear his comments, a week ago, he said, I did mention to Tony Blair a month before they launced an attack on Iraq, there is no evidence of weapons at all, but he says, that US was hypered to go on war so he did. Read yourself and hear yourself.

    And please remember, there were IEAE cameras in Iran neuclear facilities monitired by them continuesly up to now, but like Hans blix said, they do not listen and would do what they want, that is what they are doing again and again.

    You only hear the news but do not know that there are some places where US and UK force their agenda on top to get what they want, and the result is Iraq.

    Please do not always blame on arabs or palistine. If UK gets attacked by someone or US get attacked their allies should jump in. What is arab world relying on, US words and always them for last 50 years we will make palistine, but when??

    Who is suplying weapons to israel and why?? they use against children. why is everyone saying iran is giving scud to hazbullah, because they want to defend labenon. why is hazbullah is terrorst if defends labanon and not isreal as terrorist attacking others??

    where is Hazbullah coming from after many years of invasion of labanon and created by israel to defend, why is Hamas there, to defend poeple of Gaza, who created because of isreal, by killing innoncent people.

    I am not here to offend anyone or even side with anyone. I am just saying please judge yourself, if you were attacked or were under occupation what would do? specially families, children or your brother or sisters got killed. you would'nt tolarate.

    Respect to everyone and every reader. Please reply positive and with hope of peace. thanks

  • Comment number 96.

    It is not the visit but the fact that the Muslim world is realizing that unless they unite they will not be able to overthrow the Zionist-Neocon yolk of tyranny.

    This UN indictment business is the Zionist's second attempt this year to strong arm Hezbullah. I think this attempt too has been foiled, this time by Saudi Arabia refusing to play to Zionist-Neocon tunes.

    I think by far the most important thing is that Saudi Arabia has demonstrated that it is not hostile to an Iran-Iraq-Turkey-Syria alliance.

  • Comment number 97.

    shafiq wrote:

    Long ago,one Pakistani leader made a comment about Arabs. I remember
    his comments 0+0+0=0. The Arab has no unity, they are one behind another.In fact, the world should not expect anything from them

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Shafiq, according to my grand father, the name of that Pakistani leader is Hussain Shaheed Soharwardy, the year is about 1949.

    However the important thing is that even zeros are important when they are on the right side of a non-zero number. The emergence of these non-zeros in the Islamic world is what is keeping the racist thugs awake at night including many commentators on HYS.

  • Comment number 98.

    #85 MagicKirin wrote:

    the Palestinians never had any legal claim to the land. Israel bought the land before for 48 and won wars in 48 and 67 when they were attacked.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Err, have you ever bothered to look at the maps held by the Israelis and the ratio of land in which Palestinians live on? Ever bothered to look at the approaches that Israel uses against Palestinians "illegally" inhibiting the land? I just don't think you have actually done your homework as far as the Middle East goes. If Israel truely was a secular state in which human rights are respected regardless of religion or ethnicity, it wouldn't be in the state of psychological misery as it is now and the generations past. It just appears that religion/ethnicity is just a pre-requisite for decision making before results are brought in the Middle East. And Israel is no exception. The very ideology it was founded on champions that cause. Even more so than Islam.

  • Comment number 99.

    81. At 11:39am on 31 Jul 2010, for a just world wrote:
    #48 MagicKirin wrote in response to # 47:
    Because Israel is not the international terrorist threat that Iran is. They defended themselves against Turkish terrorists who were at fault in the entire situation.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Israel not a terrorist state ?. How did it come about into existence and why are Palestinians living in concentration camps (or as PM David Cameron euphemistically it, prison ?

    Resistance to Israel exist because it is doing something wrong. Something very wrong. Like dispossessing people of their god given rights and land. No matter how much you denounce the resistance as terrorists, they will continue until their god given rights are restored."


    Only last week the UN declared that Kosovo was a legal state.

    That is Ethnic Albanian Muslims came to Serbian land and decided to annex it from Serbia.

    Strangely,many Arab states who will not reconise Israel,reconise Kosovo.

    Does that tell you its ok for Muslims to steal Christians land but not for Jews to steal Muslim lands.

    Kosovo is legal,so is Israel.

  • Comment number 100.

    the visit itself is a big tension.

 

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