Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The head of the Arab League has called on countries exacerbating political problems in Lebanon — presumably Syria and Iran — to ease up and let politicians in Beirut figure out what to do. Secretary General Amr Moussa, an Egyptian, said in comments to be published tomorrow that the problem of foreign influence in Lebanon was so great it had the potential to threaten other countries in the region. Moussa was in Beirut this week to broker talks between Lebanon's governing coalition and the Hezbollah-led opposition, which are engaged in a power struggle over control over the government, according to the Reuters international news service. Lebanon has been without a president for the past three months. Moussa, who reported no progress in the talks, called the power struggle "unprecedented," and called for "new Arab and regional efforts" to resolve the crisis. Coalition leader Saad al-Hariri is a Sunni Muslim while the opposition is primarily Shiite. The coalition is backed by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, while the opposition is backed by Syria and Iran, Reuters said.