Saad Hariri the prime minister of Lebanon on Saturday salmmed Israel's military exercises and said they ran counter to current Middle East peace efforts. "Israel has to go to the negotiating table in order to achieve peace. To launch military exercises at such a time runs counter to peace efforts," Hariri said in Egypt after a meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.
"How can you launch peace talks with the Palestinians while holding military manoeuvres?" asked Hariri.
Israel's annual week-long civil defence exercises, which start on Sunday, are aimed at preparing emergency responses to rocket strikes on Israel.