AL chief returns to Beirut with Syrian backing for Arab initiative
Arab League chief Amr Moussa said on Thursday he had won Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's backing for his attempts to solve the political crisis in Lebanon between Syrian-backed Hizbullah and the government.
"Arab backing is crucial. I received assurances from the president of support for my efforts and the initiative I am carrying," Moussa said after meeting the Syrian leader, according to Reurets.
"I have come out of the meetings relieved. The Lebanon crisis involves local, regional and international factors. The most important thing is to save the Arab world from the catastrophic effects of disintegration," Moussa told reporters.
Earlier, Moussa warned Thursday that unless the rival Lebanese leaders showed eagerness to end the political crisis, and consequently, "offer mutual concessions … Lebanon would sink in a gloomy tunnel."
Moussa made his remarks to the Beirut-based daily As Safir before leaving for Damascus. As Safir quoted Moussa as saying that if consultations later Thursday with pro- and anti-government Lebanese leaders demonstrated the rival camp's "eagerness to reach a settlement to emerge from the current crisis," then he will elevate his "optimism level" and extend his Beirut mediation efforts.
But if the Arab League chief decided to terminate his Beirut trip and travel to Cairo Friday, then "this would sound the alarm of a very difficult stage of an Arab settlement to end the crisis," As Safir quoted Moussa as summing up his warning.
"Lebanon would then sink in a gloomy tunnel," Moussa added.