Lebanon to participate in US parley

Acting FM heads for US, says Lebanon is "taking part on the basis of the Arab consensus."

annapolis 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
annapolis 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Lebanon's acting Foreign Minister Tarek Mitri headed to the United States Saturday to take part in the Annapolis peace conference, his office said. Tuesday's conference at Annapolis, Maryland, aims to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for the first time in seven years. "Lebanon is taking part in the Annapolis meeting on the basis of the Arab consensus," Mitri said before his departure. On Friday, several Arab nations decided, during a meeting of foreign ministers in Egypt, to attend the peace conference. "The Lebanese delegation goes to Annapolis, like other Arab teams, clinging to the Arab peace initiative and UN resolutions," Mitri said referring to a 2002 Arab peace initiative that promised Israel normal relations from all Arab states in return for its withdrawal from lands it conquered during the Six-Day War. On Friday, the Hizbullah rejected Lebanese participation in the Annapolis conference which it called "a conspiracy" and "a step toward liquidating the Palestinian cause." The group said any commitments made by the Lebanese delegation will be nonbinding to the Lebanese. Peace talks between Lebanon and Israel have been stalled since 2000.