Lebanese politicians welcome Arab formula to end crisis

By Xinhua

Beirut : Lebanon’s ruling majority and opposition have welcomed the plan adopted by the Arab Foreign Ministers Council to end the country’s political crisis.

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According to reports, Arab foreign ministers adopted a three-point action plan Saturday to resolve the Lebanese crisis in Egypt’s capital Cairo, calling for a swift consensus on Lebanese presidential election to pick out army chief General Michel Suleiman as president.

They also urged all parties in Lebanon to reach an immediate agreement on forming a national unity government in line with the constitution and to draft a new election law following the Lebanese presidential election and forming a new government.

Parliament majority leader Saad Hariri Sunday described the resolution as a “historic stance that expresses the real Arab will in rejecting all kinds of pressure on our country.

“It also gives the Lebanese people moral, political and national support that will enable them to tide over the current period,” he added.

Former president Amin Gemayel also made a statement Sunday saying the Arab plan is serious and will help immediately solve the problem of the presidential election in Lebanon.

Gemayel called on all parties not to impose any precondition or place any obstacle.

In a statement released Sunday, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a main opposition leader, praised “Arab unanimity on (safeguarding) Lebanon’s supreme interest,” adding that “we hope it would be carried out in reality”.

Mohammad Raad, the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, said the movement would wait to see what follows the Arab ministerial meeting.

“We don’t want to be pessimistic or block the route to any productive decision, especially in a complicated matter like the Lebanese issue,” he added.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa will also visit Lebanon within 48 hours to negotiate with all parties in the country on the three-point action plan.

The Lebanese presidential seat has been vacant since former president Emile Lahoud ended his term Nov 24, 2007.

Elections for a new president have been postponed 11 times so far, and the legislature is now due to meet again on Jan 12 to elect a head of state.