Arab diplomatic attempts to end Lebanon's political crisis resumed
Arab diplomatic attempts to end Lebanon's political crisis resumed Monday, a day after hundreds of thousands protesters swarmed downtown Beirut to pressure the prime minister to step down.
Mustafa Osman Ismail, an envoy from Sudan, arrived in the Lebanese capital from Syria to meet with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and leaders of the Hizbullah-led opposition factions.
Earlier Monday, Ismail told journalists in Damascus that rival parties were favorably considering Sudanese proposals to "contain the current crisis in Lebanon." During the meeting, President Assad underlined to Ismail Syria's keenness on "Lebanon's stability and its support to all what the Lebanese agree upon." According to SANA, the Syrian leader spoke of the "importance of everyone joining efforts at this sensitive time to achieve security and stability in the region."
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa also cut short a trip in Washington and was expected in Lebanon on Tuesday at the request of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the Beirut-based An-Nahar daily reported.
Both Ismail and Moussa were in Beirut last week to try to mediate between the parties.
During Sunday's massive anti-government rally, Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun, a Hizbullah ally, gave Saniora an ultimatum of "a few days" to either accept a national unity government or face further unspecified action. Sheik Naim Kassem, Hizbullah's deputy leader, also told the crowd that the opposition was willing to stay on the streets for months to achieve its goal.