Lebanese opposition and parliament majority meet

Meeting is the first of its kind in months in effort resolve 15-month-old political crisis.

Amr Moussa 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Amr Moussa 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Top leaders from Lebanon's parliament majority and the opposition met for the first time in three months Thursday as part of efforts by the head of the Arab League to end Lebanon's 15-month-old political crisis. Majority leader Saad Hariri and Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun met Thursday at the parliament building in downtown Beirut. They were joined by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel, who is aligned with the anti-Syrian majority. Hariri and Aoun held several meetings last year, including one in Paris in October. The Hizbullah-led opposition recently named Aoun as its representative in any meetings with the majority - a move that was rejected by the anti-Syrian group for weeks. For the past two days, Moussa has been meeting Lebanese officials to try to find a breakthrough for the crisis - Lebanon's worst since the end of the 1975-90 civil war. It was his second trip to Lebanon this month. "The horizons are opening up," Moussa told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and shortly before heading to parliament to attend the Hariri-Aoun meeting. "We are doing all we can to reach a solution." During four days of talks in Beirut last week, Moussa failed to get the two sides to agree on a plan adopted by Arab foreign ministers in Egypt on Jan. 5, which calls for the election of army commander, Gen. Michel Suleiman, as president, the formation of a national unity government and the adoption of a new election law. Lebanon has been without a president since pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud's term ended Nov. 23. Parliament has failed several times to elect a president since Lahoud left office, and the legislature is to make its 13th attempt to elect a head of state on Monday.