January 26, 2011 |
The ascent of a Hezbollah-backed billionaire to the prime minister's post in deeply divided Lebanon on Tuesday sparked rioting and protests by Sunni Muslims and pushed the country into uncertainty. Lebanon's new prime minister-designate, Najib Mikati, pledged to pursue an independent, centrist path and insisted that he was not beholden to Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim militia and political organization. But his words did little to mollify supporters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the powerful leader of the country's Sunni community.
April 6, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Lebanon's political blocs united behind a compromise choice for prime minister Saturday, two weeks after his predecessor quit office under the cloud of the civil war in neighboring Syria. Tammam Salam, endorsed nearly unanimously by the parliament, vowed in a televised speech to maintain a stable Lebanon and to shield the country from the troubles next door. He was tasked with forming a Cabinet by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and approved by 124 of the 128 parliament members.
May 25, 2011 |
The United States is upping pressure on Lebanon to reduce its ties to neighboring Syria in an effort to further isolate President Bashar Assad as his security forces violently suppress a pro-democracy movement, according to diplomats and officials. Visiting Beirut last week, the State Department's Middle East envoy, Jeffrey D. Feltman, bluntly warned Lebanese officials that the tide had turned against the autocratic four-decade-old Damascus regime and urged them to distance themselves from a nation that has long been a major player in Lebanese political life, a Western diplomat and Lebanese officials said.
November 19, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- A pair of explosions apparently targeting the Iranian Embassy rocked a southern Beirut neighborhood early Tuesday, leaving at least 20 dead, including an Iranian diplomat, and close to 100 injured, authorities said. The casualty count was expected to rise. The attacks appeared to be the latest spillover of violence from neighboring Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than two years. Iran is a major ally of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
June 14, 2011 |
After a five-month deadlock that sowed uncertainty in politically fragile Lebanon, the country's prime minister on Monday further inflamed passions by announcing a new government heavily dominated by the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah and its allies. Analysts described the new Cabinet as a relic from the past, when Syria thoroughly dominated politics in Lebanon, and said it bode ill for Lebanese democracy at a time of uprisings across the Arab world. "It shows how Lebanon is basically moving in the opposite direction of the 'Arab Spring,' " said Oussama Safa, director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, a Beirut think tank.
April 23, 2005 |
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati promised that parliamentary elections would be held by May 29, two days ahead of deadline, and two top pro-Syria security chiefs stepped down. The resignations by Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, considered the most powerful security chief in Lebanon, and Maj. Gen. Ali Hajj, the top police commander, came before a United Nations team investigating the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was expected to come to Lebanon.