Lebanon: AL chief continues to broker presidential deal
The head of the Arab League decided late Friday to extend his visit to Beirut to continue mediation between rival Lebanese factions, reversing a decision earlier in the day to leave because he had failed to broker an agreement to elect a new president.
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa's move came after a second meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is aligned with the country's opposition, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Earlier Friday, following two rounds of talks with leaders from the pro-government and opposition factions, Moussa said he planned to leave.
Moussa hosted a meeting Friday with majority leader Saad Hariri, Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun and former President Amin Gemayel, who is aligned with the anti-Syrian majority coalition. The discussion focused on ways of implementing an Arab plan calling for the election of Army Chief Gen. Michel Suleiman as president, the formation of a national unity government and the adoption of a new election law. The plan was unanimously adopted by Arab foreign ministers in Cairo last month.
According to Moussa, the two sides still supported Suleiman and showed "a common desire" to reach a solution to the presidential crisis. "There is a scope for an agreement and there are matters that still need more discussion," Moussa told reporters. "Therefore, we have agreed that we need another meeting because all matters being discussed are delicate."