YNet News (Link) - Roee Nahmias (October 20, 2010)
Is Syria working to replace Lebanon�s prime minister? A Damascus official has told Lebanese daily al-Akhbar that �we must make a deep change in Lebanon. Saad Hariri is the only obstacle to reconciliation between the Syrian and Lebanese people.�
According to a report published Wednesday, Syria is disappointed with Hariri�s performance, particularly after a series of meetings with Syrian President Bashar Assad over the past year after the two reconciled.
Damascus officials believe the relations with Lebanon are not as strong as expected, pointing a finger at Hariri.
�Two years ago, Damascus thought that if it would open a new page with Hariri � trust would be built between the two people, so it decided to reconcile with him without any other practical alternative,� the unidentified Syrian official said.
�Damascus took the path of reconciliation with Hariri, without settling any scores and without any return, although he was the one who took part in the international scheme to bring down the Syrian regime. He knows Damascus has forgiven him without any return.� But now, according to the official, Syria is disappointed with the Lebanese prime minister, saying that �it�s time to replace Hariri.� He added that a series of meetings and consultations have been held in Damascus recently to discuss alternatives.
The report comes on the backdrop of an explosive situation in Lebanon, with Hezbollah expected to be accused of murdering Hariri�s father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, by a special United Nations tribunal. Syria has expressed its objection to the expected conclusions. �