Lebanon Acting under Growing Syrian Influence

The Media Line (Link) (June 15, 2010)

Once Syria faced isolation over the assassination of former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But today Syrian President Bashir Assad is hosting his Lebanese counterpart Michel Sleiman in Damascus to discuss strengthening ties and the growing influence of Turkey and Iran.

The government in Beirut is currently caught in a coalition paralysis, evident by its failure to take a stand on a UN Security Council vote to slap on more sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. Lebanon currently holds a seat on the council but abstained from the vote due to bickering in Beirut.

Furthermore, Samir Geagea, a key member of Lebanon�s fragile coalition has just quit over the government�s refusal to discuss the disarmament of Hizbullah, an increasingly strong partner in the coalition and whose militia is considered more powerful than the Lebanon army. Unable to govern itself and under the tightening bear hug of Syria, Lebanon�s government appears ripe for more dictates from Damascus.