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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 15:03 GMT
Arab press urges Lebanon unity

As Syria begins withdrawing some of its forces from Lebanon, papers in the Arab world advise the country's political leaders to come together to find a collective way forward.

Some commentators think a failure to agree could spell serious consequences in the long term.

Prime Minister Omar Karami will make a huge mistake if he does not include all the colours of the Lebanese political spectrum when forming the new government.

London's Al-Sharq al-Awsat - commentary by Ahmad al-Rab'i

We were hoping that President Emile Lahoud would ask somebody other than Omar Karami to form a new government. This choice is tantamount to a provocation of the opposition, as well as a defiance of the opposition's demand to form a government of national unity.

London's Al-Quds Al-Arabi - editorial

Hundreds of thousands of combatants do not back this government ... hundreds of thousands do not oppose this government's leaders but neither do they support them either... every day it becomes crystal clear that the government's leaders are not rising to their leadership challenges.

Lebanon's Al-Anwar - commentary by Nadirah al-Sa'id

The rejection by several Lebanese opposition groups of the prime minister's proposal to participate in a government of national unity... leaves the country on the brink of disaster... Lebanon today needs the... collective effort of both the loyalists and the opposition.

Jordan's Al-Dustur - editorial

The glaring confusion among the opposition and the persistent disorder in the actions of the loyalists... confirms that the country is passing through a vacuum... it has never experienced before.

Lebanon's Al-Safir - commentary by Sati Nur al-Din

Syria's announcement that the complete withdrawal of its forces may come before May without doubt reduces the scope for argument... it is wise to transfer all the other demands by the loyalists and the opposition to the negotiating table ... everyone must assume their historic nationalist responsibilities to overcome this crisis.

Saudi Al-Watan - editorial

While Syria must always remember that it cannot be suspected of assassinating Rafik Hariri, both it and the loyalist Lebanese authorities must shoulder the moral responsibility for what happened.

Kuwait's Al-Ra'y Al-Am - commentary by Khayrallah Khayrallah

The real struggle is not for the government or its shape, nor over the number of seats in parliament or the names of the individuals in certain senior posts in Lebanon. What is happening is a struggle for the identity of Lebanon and its strategic options and national goals.

Lebanon's Al-Intiqad - commentary by Husayn Rahhal

In order to avoid a new civil war in Lebanon, Washington should remove Hezbollah from the terrorist list and refrain from dealing with it in the same way it does with al-Qaeda... Washington should deal with Hezbollah the same way it deals with Iran, that is resort to the carrot, without the stick.

London's Al-Hayat - commentary by Raghidah Dargham

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

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12 Mar 05 |  Middle East
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Country profile: Lebanon
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Country profile: Syria
04 Mar 05 |  Country profiles

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