Former Lebanese PM, Arab League chief deny WikiLeaks report about Saudi proposal to deploy Arab forces in Lebanon

Moussa: WikiLeaks contests lies, unfair to Prince Saud al-Faisal

Siniora: I don’t know about these ideas

Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s press office denied on Wednesday the British newspaper The Guardian’s Tuesday report that Siniora supported the creation of an Arab force to intervene in Lebanon during May 2008.

Siniora had “no knowledge of these ideas and proposals and did not discuss this subject with anyone. This idea was not proposed to him in any way during his time in office,” his office said in a statement.

On Tuesday The Guardian said that a US diplomatic cable, leaked via WikiLeaks, shows that Saudi Arabia proposed setting up an Arab force to fight Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon with the help of the United States, UN and NATO.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told US Ambassador to Iraq David Satterfield in May 2008 that Siniora strongly supported the plan, the report said.

For his part, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa dismissed WikiLeaks papers regarding a so-called Saudi proposal.

“These papers are lies. (Saudi Foreign Minister) Prince Saud al-Faisal was trying with us to defuse the crisis in 2008 and everyone was seeking a solution away from such orientations,” Moussa said.

He pointed out that the issue moved from Beirut to Doha and no one spoke of the possibility of sending troops.

“These leaks are based on confusion and overlapping of facts. What happened was that we talked of peacekeeping troops for Sudan and Somalia, not for Lebanon,” he added.

The Saudi Arabian government had said last week that it was not interested in diplomatic cables released by the website WikiLeaks, asserting it is not sure of their credibility.

"These documents do not concern the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, nor does the kingdom have any role in producing them, nor is it aware of their authenticity," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ossama al-Naqli said in a press statement.

"The kingdom's policies and positions have always been clear," he added, without elaborating. He said he could not comment further.