AL chief fails in Lebanon mediation mission
A parliament session to elect Lebanon's president has been delayed until February 26, the speaker's office said on Saturday after a new Arab mediation bid failed. Speaker Nabih Berri "has decided to postpone the session that had been scheduled on February 11 to elect a president until Tuesday, February 26," his office said, according to AFP.
This announcement came shortly after Arab League chief Amr Mussa left Beirut after failing to mediate a solution to the crisis between the ruling majority and the Hizbullah-led opposition. Mussa met on Friday with parliament majority leader Saad Hariri and opposition tenor Michel Aoun to try to push through a three-point Arab plan to end the crisis.
After more than four hours of talks with the rival politicians behind closed doors at the parliament building and separate meetings with Berri and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, the Arab diplomat decided to leave Lebanon. "We did not accomplish the required progress but we will pursue our contacts until a new meeting is held in the second half of February," Mussa told As-Safir newspaper.
"The situation is complicated and there is a lack" of trust between the two camps, he said. "The Arab initiative is still on and there is some hope which we should hold on and which we should exploit," he told reporters at Beirut airport before flying out. "I don't want to exaggerate or give more hope than necessary."