Italian FM talks with rival Lebanese leaders on election crisis

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November 17, 2007 16:51

 
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Italy's foreign minister held talks Saturday with Lebanese government and opposition leaders in the latest attempt by international officials to get the country's feuding factions to agree on the election of a president and avoid a dangerous power vacuum. The visit by Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema came a day after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Lebanon could slide to "the brink of the abyss" if its leaders failed to elect a new president. Rival Lebanese factions have failed to agree on a compromise president to succeed pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud who steps down on Nov. 24. Failure to elect the next president could result in a power vacuum and possibly, in the formation of two rival administrations.

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