Mubarak meets Lebanese premier on political crisis

April 7th, 2008 - 1:29 pm ICT by admin  

Cairo, April 7 (Xinhua) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora on the latest developments in Lebanon, the official MENA news agency reported. After talks with Mubarak Sunday, Seniora said it was natural to come to Egypt and consult with Mubarak when Lebanon is in a critical stage.

Seniora said Lebanon believes in the need to move forward with the presidential election process, voicing his hope to reach an agreement on a three-point Arab initiative to help resolve the Lebanese political crisis.

Lebanon is currently facing the most serious political deadlock since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. For the first time in its history, the president’s seat has been vacant since former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud stepped down last November.

A long-awaited parliamentary session to elect a new president to succeed Lahoud has been postponed for 17 times till April 22.

Commenting on the absence of Lebanon from the just ended 20th Arab Summit in Damascus, Seniora said his country was sending a loud message to the Arab world to try to end differences and improve Lebanon’s relations with Syria.

Lebanon is seeking an Arab foreign ministers meeting to tackle basic issues, especially Lebanese-Syrian relations, he added.

Relations between Syria and the ruling coalition in Lebanon have been deteriorating since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri Feb 14, 2005. Later the same year, Damascus was forced to pull out its troops from Lebanon after 29 years of military presence.

Syria was accused by the Lebanese majority bloc of being responsible for the assassination, but Damascus has repeatedly denied the accusation.

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