Abbas postpones visit to Lebanon

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, citing "emergency circumstances," has postponed a visit to Lebanon, the official National News Agency reported Sunday. Abbas spoke with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora by telephone Sunday and informed him that he could not make it to the meeting, promising to visit Lebanon at the earliest possible time, the news agency said. The Palestinian leader cited "emergency circumstances and preoccupation" as the reason he had to postpone, the NNA said. The news agency did not provide any other details. Abbas, currently in neighboring Syria, was scheduled to begin a two-day visit to Beirut on Monday for talks with Saniora, who is facing open-ended street protests by the Hizbullah-led opposition to topple his Western-backed government. His schedule included meetings with two of Saniora's political rivals - President Emile Lahoud and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Both are allies of the Hizbullah.