Jumblatt is doing it again
One of the key M14 leaders, Walid Jumblatt, has announced that he is switching sides and joining the Hezbollah-Aoun alliance effectively depriving Sa'ad Hariri's coalition of a majority required to rule without consent of the opposition.
Aug 3, 2009
A longtime leftist and a one-time close Syrian ally, Jumblatt shifted after Hariri's assassination to the Western-backed camp after being a main beneficiary of Syrian goodwill when Damascus had the final say in Lebanese affairs for close to 30 years.
Since the 2005 break with Damascus, however, he became one of the harshest critics of Syria in Lebanon, calling for the overthrow of President Bashar Assad's regime and blaming Syria for the 1977 killing of his father, prominent politician Kamal Jumblatt. He has also accused Syria of being behind the assassination of Hariri and other politicians in Lebanon since 2005.
But Jumblatt has moderated his anti-Syrian rhetoric since fighters from the Shiite Hizbullah stormed Beirut's Sunni Muslim neighborhoods in May last year, taking control of vast swaths of the city with surprising ease.
In his comments Sunday, he said he was returning to his leftist roots and will seek "distinguished relations" with Syria.
Without naming Jumblatt, it said cryptically that it could not criticize Jumblatt for shifting his loyalty but only so long as it did not mean "going back to the shameful history in which many were partners in giving priority to private interests over that of the country."
Source: Associated Press (quoted by Jpost)
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