Egypt, Saudi, France and Arab League urge dialogue for Lebanon elections

September 27, 2007 06:49


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The Egyptian, Saudi and French foreign ministers and the Arab League secretary-general urged all political forces in Lebanon to restart a national dialogue so they can reach agreement on the election of a new president. They said in a communique issued late Wednesday after a meeting on the sidelines of the high-level UN General Assembly session that the timeframe in the Lebanese constitution for election of a new president must be respected. Lebanon's parliament on Tuesday put off a session to elect a new president until October 23 after the legislature failed to muster enough lawmakers because of a Hezbollah-led opposition boycott. More than a dozen declared or undeclared candidates are vying for the post, three of them members of the pro-government camp and one from the opposition. The attempt to choose a successor to President Emile Lahoud before he steps down on Nov. 24 has become a struggle between the anti-Syrian coalition, led by US-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, and the opposition, led by the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah.

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