French, Italian, Spanish FMs to urge Lebanon to agree on new president

October 20, 2007 13:54

The foreign ministers of France, Italy and Spain were in Lebanon Saturday to try to prod rival Lebanese factions to agree on the election of a new president as an essential step toward breaking a months long political deadlock. The visits by Bernard Kouchner of France, Massimo D'Alema of Italy and Miguel Angel Moratinos of Spain came three days before Lebanon's parliament was to make another attempt to select a new head of state in a deeply divisive election. Kouchner stressed the need for a president to be elected with a consensus among Lebanon's major religious sects. "I return to Lebanon to do what I can with my colleagues the foreign ministers of Italy and Spain so that the presidential election could be held on time and the new president could get the necessary minimum consensus among the sects," Kouchner told reporters after arriving at Beirut airport shortly late Friday.

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