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Wikileaks on Feltman: Hariri Disappointed the US He Is Not His Father, Politically Controlled by Father’s Wife
Local Editor

Feltman: Hariri Cannot Focus For a Long Time in Discussing One Subject, He's Quick-Tempered when Criticized

And the Wikileaks revelations on the Lebanese officials continue, where this time Al-Akhbar newspaper published a Wikileaks cable entitled "Hariri [Saad] by Feltman: Lives among Employees and Opportunists".

This cable shows that Saad Hariri has took over his father's position without any warning, expressing a disappointment from his political performances, the tensed relation between Hariri and Foad Siniora, and Saad's Step Mother, Nazek Hariri's influence on the Future Movement.
On June 13, 2006, Jeffrey Feltman sent a cable labeled (06Beirut1915), to the his country's Foreign Ministry, including information about then MP Saad Hariri, after questions the US Secretariat of State requested from the US Embassy in Awkar.

The cable reveals Feltman's true view about head of the Future Movement and those surrounding him [Hariri], in addition to his political relations.
According to Feltman, Saad Hariri is open-minded and intimate, and US officials could easily get in touch with him (when he is in Beirut) due to his George Town education and good English, describing that he expresses an American behavior when he with American visitors, while he expresses a Saudi Arabian behavior when with conventional Arab visitors.

Feltman added in the cable, that Hariri cannot focus on one issue for a long period of time, for he moves from one discussion to another, and from one title to the other, noting it is rare that Hariri focuses on one subject for more than a couple of minutes.
According to Feltman, Saad Hariri, like his father, shows a great deal of self confidence, and when asked about his tactics to be followed, he mainly says "Don't worry", to the extent that some accuse him of excess of confidence, while on the other hand, others say that claiming self confidence is but a mask to hide the insecure Hariri.

Jeffrey Feltman notices, according to the cable, that Hariri loses his patience, precisely when two major issues are brought up; the first is related to the other major Sunni figures in the country, and the second is when spoken about Christian concerned related to what will pro-Hariri Sunnis will receive in Lebanon. For example, the cable adds, Hariri merely ignores the US Embassy's advice about holding dialogue with his Sunni allies in Tripoli; Mosbah Al Ahdab and Mohammad Sfadi, yet when this issue was brought up, Saad Hariri replied, "I am the Sunni Chief of Tripoli".
Regarding the Christian fears of Sunni spread, Head of the Future Movement accused the "Maronites are demanding, and are paranoid".

Furthermore, Feltman also indicated Hariri's luxury life, affirming that Saad Hariri becomes overwhelmed with "wine-women-music" away from being spotted in Beirut, or during his abroad trips.
Feltman believes that Hariri tries to give the impression that he cares about the important issues, and leaves the details for others to solve them, also referring that Hariri considers himself a "leader", and the "number 1 leader" among those of Lebanon when he meets his followers.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs considers Saad Hariri's position, as Rafik Hariri's son, has its cons and pros, for Saad Hariri has inherited an efficient financial and political system, in addition to broad international relations. As for the cons, Feltman says "Saad is not Rafik", for his role's expectations compared to his father's lead to a "disappointment", explaining that Saad lacks the basic local knowledge his father treasured.
Jeffrey Feltman affirmed in the cable that Saad Hariri no longer possess the same fortune which existed with his father, for after Rafik Hariri's assassination, his fortune was divided on 6 individuals.

As for Saad Hariri's surroundings, Feltman includes in the Wikileaks revealed cable that it's similar to a "Royal court", where employees and opportunists are there, while the people who share Hariri his political notions are 4: Salim Diab, Hani Hamoud, Wissam Al Hassan, Ghattas Khoury. Although he got rid of many who were close to his father, Saad Hariri inherited his advisors from his father, knowing that Al Hassan's role now is even bigger than that he had with former Lebanese PM.

Feltman considers Salim Diab as the most liberated between the four advisers for being a wealthy businessman, while Hani Hamoud is the Future Movement's engine. As for Wissam Al Hassan, Jeffrey Feltman mentioned in the cable sent to the US Secretariat of State that he was Rafik Hariri's security official, and that he was not present with Rafik Hariri at the day of the assassination; the detail which opened the door for any conspiracy theories.

Feltman's report also added that Al Hassan is not a trustworthy figure, and mainly disliked by other Lebanese figures, including March 14 leaders and Walid Jumblatt, further referring to that Hariri claimed he tested Al Hassan's loyalty and background, and always defends him.
In addition to the four advisers, Hariri surrounds himself with the Shiite MP Bassem Sabeh, and Orthodox MP Farid Mkari, so they would be his companions to always agree; his "yes men".

Furthermore, Feltman said it seems that Hariri takes the advice of Minister Marwan Hamadeh seriously, although Jeffrey noticed that Hariri uses Ghattas Khoury to deliver any letter to Jumblatt, and not Hamadeh.
On the other hand, Jeffrey Feltman also added that Nazek Hariri, Saad Hariri's step mother, has great influence on the head of the Future Movement, affirming that at the same time, non of Hariri's siblings, Bahaa, Hind, Fahed, or Ayman have a political influence on him.
What surprises Feltman in the US cable, are the people Hariri does not rely on, like advisers close to his father; Foad Siniora and Bahij Tabbara. According to Feltman, Hariri does not depend on Siniora in political advice, while Tabbara still has some direct influence due to his relation with Nazek Hariri.

In this context, the tensed relation between Hariri and Siniora worries Feltman, where he considered this is a matter of "dignity", for Siniora is complaining that Hariri is treating him as an employee, while Hariri believes Siniora is treating him as a child.
Many of the Lebanese politicians who participated in the dialogue table, according to Feltman, affirmed that Hariri speaks to Siniora with a belittling tone.

Jeffrey Feltman also noted in the cable, Hariri's relations with Jumblatt, Samir Jaejae and Nasib Lahoud, and expresses Hariri's resentment from Botros Hareb and Naila Moawwad, saying they are "too Christian to be good for Lebanon".
Furthermore, The US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs referred to Hariri's relation with Head of Change and Reform Bloc Michel Aoun, saying that the latter is the worst for Hariri. On another hand, Feltman added that Hariri believes that although the Shiites are also Lebanese, but they are "different, and are a possible threat".

09-04-2011 | 17:39

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