Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Sarkozy talks tough

According to Euro News:

"Nicolas Sarkozy has announced he plans to suspend contacts with Syria. Links will be restored only when Paris has proof that Damascus is not blocking efforts to appoint a consensus president in Lebanon."

The problem is that the dispute is no longer about who will be president, everyone is agreed on Suleiman. The block is now the make up of the future cabinet—the original cause of the crisis.

The opposition can no longer afford to have the M14 cabal in control of the government as this will lead to more instability. M14 cannot compromise because the US will see it as another defeat in the Middle East.

A Syrian spokesman old the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat:

"If people are asking us to put pressure on Syria's friends, we have made no agreement to do that. We have reached agreement with the French and with our friends on a package deal to arrive at an overall settlement.

"We are using our influence with those who like us in Lebanon to proceed to the election of a consensus candidate."

In response Sarkosy huffed and puffed.

"We are now waiting for acts on Syria's part and not speeches. France will have no more contact with Syria... until we have proof of Syrian willingness to let Lebanon appoint a president by consensus."

Now neither the French nor US are capable of shaping the crisis in their favour, hence the fleeting visits by Bernard Kouchner and Condoleezza Rice and empty threats by both countries.

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