Lebanon needs Makkah-type deal

Efforts to resolve the Lebanon political crisis seem to have reached a dead end. Leaders on Tuesday blamed each other for obstructing what was considered an imminent deal that would have satisfied the minimum demands of both the majority and the opposition. Even the dialogue that was going between Speaker Nabih Berri and leader of the majority Sa’ad Al Hariri has become meaningless.The two important points in contention; the endorsement of a UN tribunal in the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Al Hariri – a majority demand – and the formation of a unity cabinet in which the opposition has a veto power, are doable in theory.

The opposition agreed on the point of the tribunal but the problem now lies with the majority, which still refuses to give the opposition the 11 ministerial posts it seeks. It is evident the Lebanese leaders are unable to break the deadlock. There is a gap filled with mistrust separating the two sides.

Therefore, it is necessary for outside parties to step in to bring about a compromise. Saudi Arabia, which did a great job in bringing about the Makkah deal that solved the Palestinian crisis earlier this month, is most suitable to play that role. And it is better to move now before things get out of hand.

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