Situation in Lebanon “very negative” – Arab League


Washington : Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa has described the situation in Lebanon as “very negative” and deteriorating.

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Speaking to KUNA Thursday, the Arab official said the Lebanese themselves were wondering why the political situation was deteriorating to this extent, hoping that things would stop at this and not deteriorate further.

As part of the Arab League’s efforts to resolve the political standoff in the country, Moussa initiated contacts with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nabeeh Berri as well as with the Syrian leadership in Damascus and Arab foreign ministers.

On Wednesday, Moussa met Assistant US Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs C. David Welch and congressmen. He is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during his visit here, which ends Friday.

The Arab League secretary-general called on the Lebanese leadership to respect institutions and “the interests of the Lebanese people away from confrontations,” and for all local parties to take steps toward stopping the political deterioration.

On his part, Moussa’s office director Hisham Yousef told KUNA that developments in the Lebanese arena were “very concerning,” adding that the Arab League would “continue to make contacts with all involved parties.”

He added that “regional and international interventions cannot be denied,” but that the Lebanese leadership “must bear a great responsibility in maintaining the country’s stability and security.”

Yousef said it was unlikely that a parliamentary session for the election of a new president would be held next week because “the circumstances do not indicate advancement.”

The Arab League chief is in the US to participate in the US-Arab Economic Forum.