Arab FMs back Suleiman for Lebanese president

Arab foreign ministers, including Syria, agreed unanimously Saturday to back the head of Lebanon's army, Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman, as the politically divided country's next president. After the Arab ministers of Qatar and Saudi Arabia mounted pressure on Syria's top diplomat Walid al-Moallem during a meeting in the Egyptian capital, the ministers endorsed a statement calling on Lebanon's rival parties to elect Suleiman and resolve their political differences. "Stemming from Arab responsibilities toward Lebanon and in continuation of Arab efforts to help Lebanon overcome its crisis, the ministers agreed on a comprehensive plan and call on the concerned parties in Lebanon to reach a consensus," read the statement, a copy of which was made available to The Associated Press. The endorsement was significant because it showed a willingness on Syria's part to end the crisis in Lebanon. It also indicated that Lebanon's opposition, lead by the Syrian-backed Hizbullah, may drop its demand that it receive Cabinet veto power before allowing Suleiman to be elected.