Saudi, Syrian leaders visit Lebanon amid tension

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 30, 2010 17:27

 
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BEIRUT  — The leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia launched an unprecedented effort Friday to defuse fears of violence over upcoming indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri — the son of the slain statesman — and President Michel Suleiman were at the airport as Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar Assad stepped off the plane together. It was a strong public show of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Syria, which for years vied for influence over Lebanon.

Many fear that new violence between Lebanon's Shiite and Sunni communities could break out if the international tribunal investigating Hariri's death implicates the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which is Syria's main ally in Lebanon.

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