French envoy discusses Lebanese crisis in Syria

A French envoy discussed Lebanon's political crisis with officials in neighboring Syria on Wednesday, marking the highest-level visit by a French diplomat to Damascus in nearly two years. The envoy, Middle East expert Jean-Claude Cousseran, separately briefed Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on talks between representatives of rival Lebanese factions recently hosted by France. The talks, held last weekend near Paris, did not break the deadlock between Lebanon's Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and the opposition led by the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah.