Saudi-Syrian reconciliation to help Lebanon crisis: Berri

Lebanon's Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri said Tuesday that reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Syria would help end the ongoing Lebanese political crisis.

Saudi-Syrian reconciliation to help Lebanon crisis: Berri
"Solving the Arab problem could solve the Lebanese crisis and a Saudi-Syrian understanding could also end the impasse," Berri was quoted as telling a delegation of Arab lawmakers.

The delegation, mandated by the Arab League, arrived in Beirut on Sunday in a fresh bid to break the deep political impasse blocking the election of a new Lebanese president.

"We in the Arab world are concerned with the great rift in Lebanon, as well as the fragile security situation," Mohammed Jassem al-Saqr, head of the Arab Parliament, told reporters.

Al-Saqr said the Arab lawmakers' initiative was aimed at "supporting the Lebanese people and warning them against (the dangers of) plunging into violent confrontations."

"We feel that the dispute could lead to confrontations that would not only have repercussions on Lebanon but the region" as a whole, al-Saqr said.

The delegation held talks on Monday with Prime Minister Fouad Seniora before meeting with the Hezbollah movement's second in command Sheikh Naim Kassem.

Damascus is due to host the Arab summit on March 29-30, and several Arab countries have linked the level of their participation at the summit to the election of a president in Lebanon.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have openly accused Syria of obstructing the vote.

The Lebanese parliament is scheduled to meet on March 25 to elect a new president after 16 previous attempts were postponed amid deadlock over the make-up of a future government.

Lebanon has been without a president since November 23, after pro- Syrian Emile Lahoud quit at the end of his term.

Lebanon has been invited to the Arab summit by Syria, but the anti-Syrian March 14 coalition has called on the government not to attend.

"We refuse to sit on the same table with (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad,' said Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh, a member of the March 14 coalition.

The Lebanese cabinet is due to a hold a meeting in the coming few days to decide on its participation at the summit. The cabinet would need a third of its members to take the decision.


Agencies
Last Mod: 19 Mart 2008, 11:24
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