French minister optimistic about Lebanon's political standoff

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner predicted Saturday that Lebanon would see "satisfying" developments in the next few days in its political crisis. Kouchner spent four days in Lebanon this week to try to mediate in the former French protectorate. Lebanon was without a president Saturday after rival factions failed to agree on a compromise candidate, creating a power vacuum that intensifies the country's political turmoil. After talks with his Algerian counterpart in Paris on Saturday, Kouchner told reporters that he thought Lebanon "will see, in the days to come, developments I consider satisfying." He insisted the failure to choose a president was not a failure for French diplomacy. "I think that you will be happy with ... the effort that will be made for the stability of Lebanon in a few days," he added.