Italian FM talks with rival Lebanese leaders on election crisis

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.