BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- A shift by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt toward opposition parties in Beirut may be a sign of regional trends toward Syria and Hezbollah, analysts say.
Jumblatt, the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, announced an end to his alliance with the anti-Syrian March 14 coalition, saying his "necessary" partnership with the movement had concluded.
The move may reflect personal ambitions as much as regional trends, as Washington and its regional allies move to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus.
"He's been shifting for a while, both for domestic and regional reasons, the main one being the changing international position toward Syria," Paul Salem, head of the Carnegie Middle East Center, told the Daily Star in Lebanon.
Internally, Jumblatt may have recognized the growing viability of Hezbollah as a political force, as it mounted a strong challenge to March 14 in the June parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri led his March 14 coalition to victory, promising to move quickly to form a new unity government.
However, with Jumblatt courting Hezbollah and the struggle to form a unity government continuing, the political situation in Beirut may linger in turmoil.