Lebanon: Coalition members slam Nasrallah
Lebanon's ruling coalition on Monday accused the pro-Syrian opposition party Hizbullah of obstructing initiatives to resolve a deadlock over the looming presidential election. Ruling coalition members slammed a speech on Sunday by Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah who called on pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud to adopt a "salvation" measure before the end of his term on November 24.
"It is a coup d'etat, it is clearly aimed at planting discord and foiling all attempts to resolve" the crisis, Sports and Youth Minister Ahmad Fatfat told AFP. "It is a call for the formation of a parallel government in order to create a real confrontation," he said.
According to him, Nasrallah's speech was "Syria's message in response to the French initiative."
Deputy parliament speaker Farid Makari charged that Nasrallah was "seeking to foil... the French initiative ahead of the arrival of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner."
Kouchner was due in Beirut later Monday for a 24-hour visit aimed at helping to resolve the crisis over the presidency.