Lebanon crisis: Syrian president calls for dialogue
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Friday that the political crisis in Lebanon was an "internal matter" and called for it to be resolved through dialogue. Assad was speaking at a meeting with visiting Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, during which the two leaders shared thoughts "on the regional situation, particularly in Lebanon," Syria's state news agency Sana reported.
At the meantime, Yemen has contacted rival Lebanese parties and regional governments to discuss mandating Lebanon's army chief to chair a dialogue to halt the fighting in the country, the state Saba news agency reported. It said President Ali Abdullah Saleh made telephone calls late Thursday to the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Lebanese army chief General Michel Sleiman, as well as Sunni and Shiite leaders.
"The conversation revolved around mandating ... Sleiman, on whom all Lebanese political forces have agreed (as a consensus president), to manage a dialogue in Lebanon and shoulder his responsibility in preserving Lebanon's security, stability and national unity," Saba said.