Lebanese politicians praise Arab statement endorsing new president

Lebanon's feuding politicians on Sunday welcomed the decision by Arab nations, including Syria, to back the head of Lebanon's army as the next president, expressing hope the move would help end the country's political crisis. Arab foreign ministers issued the endorsement of Gen. Michel Suleiman on Saturday after meeting in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. Syria's willingness to back the statement put pressure on the Lebanese opposition - lead by Syrian-backed militant Hizbullah - to drop its demand that it receive Cabinet veto power before allowing Suleiman to be elected. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is allied with the opposition, thanked the Arab ministers for their call, saying "we hope that it will be translated on the ground to ward off any strife and end the current crisis." "I tell the Lebanese that we can start with the Arab resolution to ... confirm our unity," Berri added in a statement released by his office.