Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"There has been an intensive round of talks in Paris involving Lebanese president Siniora, Condoleeza Rice, Ban Ky Moon, Amru Musa, Sarkozy, and a large supporting cast of notables and informants. Insofar as the talks dealt with Lebanon, the Western press including the Lebanese paper the Daily Star, says these talks are mainly about re-affirmations of Western support for the Siniora government. The Lebanese opposition newspaper Al-Akhbar says there is a lot more to it than that, explaining that the talks are noteworthy for the way they "shed light on the Western program that has been set for Lebanon". The main point is that reports of various talks indicate there is a plan to get UN authorization for an expansion or a change in the mandate for the UNIFIL forces that would involve them along the Lebanon-Syria border, and perhaps change their rules of engagement. The initial step in this, having the UN send "experts in border security" to monitor the Lebanon-Syria border......"