Mubarak, Seniora meet on Lebanese presidential crisis

By Xinhua

Cairo : Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday met with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora over Lebanon’s months-long presidential crisis, the official news agency MENA reported.

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Attended by Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and the Lebanese premier’s accompanying delegation, the meeting between Mubarak and Seniora, who arrived here late Wednesday, focused on efforts exerted to end the presidential crisis, MENA said.

On Wednesday, Mubarak told reporters that the Arab initiative on Lebanon was the best way to contain the Lebanese crisis, warning that it had turned into an issue of personal conflicts, which would harm the Lebanese people first.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa paid three visits to Lebanon during the past two weeks, in which he held marathon talks with Lebanese leaders to promote an Arab initiative which was endorsed in Cairo on Jan. 6.

The three-point Arab plan aimed at immediately electing Lebanese Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as new president and proceeding to forming a government of national unity and drafting a new electoral law.

Lebanon is currently facing the most serious deadlock since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. For the first time in its history, the presidential seat has been void since Nov. 24 of 2007 when former president Emile Lahoud stepped down.

The two conflicting political camps have agreed in principle to elect Suleiman to replace Lahoud, but are still divided on how to amend the constitution to allow for his election, as well as on the shape and policies of the future government.

A long-awaited parliamentary session to elect president was postponed on Sunday for a 13th time, from Jan. 21 to Feb. 11.

The presidency deadlock deepened the Lebanese political crisis as fears are mounting that failure in reaching a deal on the presidential candidate could result more violence in the country.