Lebanon's political crisis has further damaged relations between Damascus and Riyadh, putting at risk next month's Arab summit in Damascus, Arab officials in Riyadh warned on Thursday. "There is a crisis in ties with the Syrian government, with Lebanon the main reason," a Saudi official told AFP.
"Damascus has not joined in efforts, including the Arab initiative, to elect a consensus president" in Lebanon, he added. The Arab League proposal calls for the election of army chief General Michel Suleiman as consensus president, followed by the formation of a national unity government in which no single party has veto power, and a new electoral law.
Meanwhile, Suleiman warned that unless there was nationwide consensus on him as Lebanon's next President he will quit the presidential race, the daily As Safir said Thursday. The Beirut-based newspaper quoted the army chief as telling visitors that he will not accept to be what he called a "confrontational' candidate.
It said Suleiman insisted that if there was no national consensus on him and that if "some" sought to resort to elections by simple majority "by one-plus-half for example, I will say no and apologize." "If they adopted the half-plus-one option, I will resign from the military command," Suleiman said.