Thursday, July 26, 2007
Al-Manar Special - Hussein Noureddine - Translated
"26/07/2007 Thursday, July 26, 2006. It was the peak of the Israeli war against Lebanon and the heroic fighters of the Islamic Resistance were re-writing history in the southern city of Bint Jbeil. As battles were raging and Israeli bombs were destroying houses and killing innocent women and children, the head of the ministerial camp Fouad Saniora was in Rome calling for all arms to be handed to Lebanese authorities.
Two days earlier, Saniora had met in Beirut with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Knowing about the Israeli massacres committed using US made bombs, Saniora did not show any sign of resentment, instead he warmly welcomed Rice…and they exchanged kisses. Rice, whose administration openly backed the Israeli war against Lebanon, held a two hour meeting with Saniora who attentively heard the US demands. He had written them on a piece of paper and delivered it to then Minister of Power and Water Mohamad Fneish, to hand them to the resistance leadership.
Saniora later admitted he had been a mediator to transfer such letters, raising many eyebrows at the role a "Prime Ministers" should assume in times of war. On that same day, the 24th of July 2006, Rice convened the leadership of the February 14 political group in the US embassy. Everybody there exchanged smiles as they were preparing to have lunch. The sound of explosions sounding in Beirut's southern suburb was barely heard there, if not at all. The other side of the picture that generated that day, showed House Speaker Nabih Berri having a very cold meeting with Rice; a meeting that was later described as very tense. The Senior US official had set conditions for a ceasefire. They constituted extreme danger on the unity of Lebanon.
What Rice had suggested over lunch with the leaders of the February 14 bloc, was adopted by Saniora two days later in Rome where he stood next to her and called for spreading the government's authority across Lebanon and confine arms under the Lebanese authority. Saniora went further to put forth the Truce Agreement of 1949 without mentioning the occupied Shebaa Farms. He also pledged to secure the release Lebanese and Israeli prisoners. Three days after Saniora took his position in Rome, he earned Rice's commendation. She said he was the future of the Middle East."
Non literal translation by Mohamad Shmaysani