WikiLeaks: Hariri proposed new Syria regime

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Apr 2011

Leaked diplomatic cables allege that Saad Al-Hariri suggested isolating Bashar Al-Assad and forming a coalition of Muslim Brotherhood and former regime figures to take power

Saad Al- Hariri Reuters

A WikiLeaks document published by a Lebanese daily claims that former prime minister and head of the Future Movement Saad Al-Hariri called for the isolation of the Syrian regime in 2006.

Hariri reportedly suggested replacing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with a coalition that included the Muslim Brotherhood and several individuals that were once part of the regime.

Hizbullah-friendly Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published the leaked documents the day Syrian authorities accused "Lebanese forces." including a Future Movement MP, of supplying  a "terrorist group" with arms and funds to incite them to overthrow the regime.

Syria has been struggling with unprecedented pro-reform protests for the past month.

According to the leaked diplomatic cable, Hariri, who was not yet in office at the time, met on 24 August 2006 with US officials and urged for the isolation of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad warning of unrest in Lebanon following a speech in which Al-Assad threatened a civil war in Lebanon, Al-Akhbar wrote.

The leaked document added that with regards to who would fill the void left in Damascus should the regime fall, Hariri suggested a coalition between the Muslim Brotherhood and some figures that were once part of the regime.

Former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam and former army Chief of Staff Hekmat Al-Shehaby were among the figures.

Hariri and the 14 March Alliance had accused Syria of orchestrating former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri’s assassination on 14 February 2005 in Beirut. The car bombing that claimed Hariri’s life also killed 22 others and was followed by a series of assassinations of prominent Lebanese anti-Syria figures.

The Syrian army withdrew from Lebanon in April 2005 in the aftermath of the assassination following three decades of occupation. After Syria’s withdrawal, Hariri was elected to parliament heading a new majority.

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