Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has accused Washington of playing an "unconstructive" role in divided Lebanon where he said upcoming presidential polls would be a chance for reconciliation.
"There are parties such as the United States which are still playing an unconstructive role concerning Lebanon," Muallem told the Lebanese opposition newspaper Al-Akhbar while on a visit to powerful regional ally Iran.
Both Iran and Syria, under fire by the United States for their alleged meddling in Lebanon and Iraq, are close regional allies with their leaders meeting regularly.
"Lebanese leaders should put the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese people as a first priority, and if this happens - and we hope it does - the presidential elections will be a chance for reconciliation in Lebanon," Muallem said.
Muallem, whose country was the main power broker in Lebanon until it was forced under international pressure to end 29 years of military domination in 2005, said "any solution in Lebanon should not be imported."
"It has to be Lebanese in order for it to stand. This solution should be based on the formula of "no winner and no loser,'" he said in an apparent appeal on rival Lebanese sides to accept a compromise solution.
Lebanese "parliament speaker Nabih Berri has announced a Lebanese initiative, which Lebanese parties are still studying, and we hope that they reach an understanding which would help Lebanon avoid plunging into a very uncomfortable situation," he said.
Parliament has from September 25 to November 24 to elect a president to replace Emile Lahoud, whose term in office was controversially extended by three years under a Syrian-inspired constitutional amendment in 2004.
Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2007, 11:33