Lebanese President Michel Suleiman yesterday reiterated Lebanon's commitment to UN resolutions and its international obligations in his address to the UN General Assembly. But while his speech was quite vocal on the question of the Palestinian statehood, Suleiman failed to make mention of the developments in Syria - or their repercussions on Lebanon.
Six months into the Syrian uprising, more and more countries have distanced themselves from the Syrian regime - but most have yet to call on President Bashar Assad to step down. Gulf countries are leading an Arab League initiative aimed at ending violence in Syria, while Turkey and Iran continue to tread carefully, voicing support for the people's free will without abandoning Assad.
It is hard to tell whether the relative calm that the Eid al-Fitr break, marking the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan, has dampened tensions in Lebanon or whether this is the calm before the storm.
President Barack Obama called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down in a statement released by the White House today.
Four months into the bloodiest uprising in the Middle East, the U.S. Administration finally made a statement declaring that Syrian President Bashar Assad has lost legitimacy. However, Secretary Clinton and Persident Obama stopped short of calling on him to go. The statement came two days after the U.S. Embassy in Damascus and the official residence of the U.S.
As Palestinian refugees and Syrians marched towards the Israeli border at the Golan Heights, marking the 1967 Naksa Day, the Lebanese border nearby witnessed an odd calm. Commemorating the 1948 Nakba Day last month, Palestinian refugees walking peacefully towards the border were shot by Israeli soldiers. Many believe that the Syrian regime was behind the protests.
The tides may be turning against the Syrian regime as it starts to lose its friends, both regionally and internationally. As the Syrian revolution enters its third month, with the death toll surpassing 1,000, observers are starting to cast doubt on the survival of the regime.
"If there is no stability here [in Syria], there's no way there will be stability in Israel", Rami Makhlouf, President Assad's cousin, the regime's businessman and a lightning rod for Syrian protestors, told the New York Times this week. He did not try to embellish or deny this seeming threat.
The uprising sweeping Syria continues to grow despite the brutal crackdown against peaceful protests. With the killing of Osama Bin Laden momentarily eclipsing the turmoil there, the protesters seem, at present, to be standing alone in their fight for democracy and liberty.