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'Saudis, Syria proposed Hariri-Hezbollah compromise'
Beirut media outlets report compromise offer drafted by King Abdullah, Assad calls on Lebanese premier to reject probe into his father's assassination in exchange for Hezbollah guarantee he would not be harmed

Media outlets in Beirut reported that Syria and Saudi Arabia are formulating a compromise offer in an attempt to prevent unrest in Lebanon following the publication of the indictments against those involved in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

 

According to reports in the West, the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is reportedly set to indict high-ranking operatives of the Shiite movement Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful military force, which is backed by Tehran and Damascus.

 

Two Lebanese newspapers with links to Hezbollah - Al Akhbar and As Safir – reported that the compromise is aimed at preventing a clash between Hezbollah and Prime Minister Saad Hariri's camp.

 

According to the proposal, reportedly drafted by Syrian President Bashar Assad and Saudi King Abdullah, the Lebanese government would stop funding the tribunal in exchange for Hezbollah's guarantee that it would not harm the prime minister.

 

The Shiite organization would also avoid any overt military activities and Hariri, the son of the slain former premier, would be allowed to maintain his own security apparatus.

 


Hariri assassination (Archive photo: Reuters)

 

Hariri is currently in New York, where the Saudi king is hospitalized, but a source close to the premier said the visit's sole purpose is to "inquire about the king's health."

 

Another official also dismissed the reports of a compromise, "particularly regarding the demand that Prime Minister Hariri reject the tribunal's indictments."

 

AFP contributed to the report

 

 

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