In an interview with the Voice of Lebanon radio station, resigned Minister of Labor Trad Hamadeh expressed his hope that the Arab Summit, to be hosted by Damascus at the end of March, would renew the Arab initiative and the negotiations of Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa in order to find a solution to the political and constitutional impasse in Lebanon.
Hamadeh underlined the importance of the Lebanese ability to secure political dialogue independent of foreign intervention, and in particular American intervention, which he said had prevented a fair, acceptable settlement of crisis through the democratic election of a President of the Republic and the formation of a national-unity government.
Lebanon has been without president since Emile Lahoud stepped down in November 2007. Six opposition ministers, including Hamadeh, resigned a year later, and arguments over the legitimacy of the government and the presidential vacuum have been incessant since.
“The Americans want the summit to be a summit of Arab conflict rather than a summit of Arab solidarity around Lebanon and Palestine and other issues, and before the Damascus Summit, they had foiled the Riyadh Summit,” Hamadeh continued. He emphasized the importance of returning to Arab solidarity for the sake of finding a political settlement and a national-unity government in Lebanon, for Palestine, for the Arab conflict with the “Zionist enemy” Israel, and for Darfur.