Embattled Lebanese PM extends hand to opposition

January 27, 2007 14:50


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Lebanon's Western-backed prime minister extended a hand to the opposition on Saturday, urging pro-Hizbullah officials to work to resolve the political crisis and asked the Arab League chief to come to Lebanon to resume contacts between feuding politicians. Embattled Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who returned to Lebanon Friday night after attending an international donors' conference in Paris, urged his political opponents to work toward ending the political deadlock, saying the alternative was too "frightening." A statement by Saniora's office said he telephoned Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri - both pro-Syrian officials and supporters of the Hizbullah-led opposition. Saniora has not had direct contacts with the two for weeks. His calls followed deadly clashes in Beirut this week between pro and anti-government supporters that killed at least three people and injured dozens, after mobs faced off with guns, homemade clubs and stones in the worst factional fighting in Lebanon in years.

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