Ahmadinejad, Medvedev agree to boost ties: Report
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed to boost ties between their countries, in a a telephone conversation, state media reported on Monday.
Medvedev, according to the report which did not give a date for the call, said the two long-standing allies could boost ties in energy, fuel, transportation and other commercial areas."Russia is ready for all cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran," Medvedev was quoted as saying.
Speaking of Russia:
Israel concerned Russia will recognize Palestinian state
Israeli officials fear that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will announce on Tuesday during a visit to Jericho that Russia recognizes a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
This news is a bombshell. To say the least.
Such a move would be significant, particularly since Russia is a member of the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiatiors.
Officials became concerned following an interview given by Fatah official Nabil Sha'ath to the Al-Hayat newspaper on Tuesday. Sha'ath said that Medvedev would affirm the Soviet Union's 1988 recognition of a Palestinian state - a recognition that was based on the declaration of independence made by Yassir Arafat that year
Update on Lebanon:
Tensions high in Beirut
Lebanese security forces deployed in central Beirut on Tuesday and several schools closed in response to tensions surrounding a draft indictment issued over the 2005 killing of former premier Rafik Hariri.
Shi'ite Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri told As-Safir newspaper that the opposition had said that its policy would change once the indictment was issued, and that policy "has entered the stage of implementation as of yesterday afternoon".
The appearance of dozens of men across the capital raised fears of a repeat of the conflict in 2008.
But Heba Nashabe, principal at a school in the central Beirut district of Barbir, said she had only four students out of 1,800 on Tuesday.
"The parents came and took the students from eight o'clock in the morning because they were frightened."
Lebanon enters a tunnel, the end of which can't be seen
Analysis: The irresistible force of Hariri's refusal to abandon UN Tribunal is set against the immovable object of Hizbullah's physical domination.
If the current consultations fail to produce a quick result, with Hariri continuing as “caretaker” prime minister, then the prospect will open up for increased pressure on the government from Hizbullah. It is at this point that civil unrest, demonstrations and possibly sectarian violence will become a possibility, as Hizbullah seeks to raise the stakes and force Hariri to distance himself from the tribunal.
Hizbullah thus finds itself in the unfamiliar position of being without peer in terms of its physical strength, and yet unable to translate this reality at the present time into a situation to its liking politically.
The result is that the irresistible force of Saad Hariri’s (current) refusal to abandon the Tribunal tasked with finding his father’s killers is currently set against the immovable object of Hizbullah’s physical domination of the means of force in Lebanon.
What will be the outcome? As speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri put it in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat, Lebanon is currently entering “a tunnel whose beginning we know but whose end we don’t see.”