Portuguese president holds talks with Lebanese PM, inspects peacekeepers

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva held talks Saturday with the Lebanese prime minister on the country's deepening political crisis and the dangerous power vacuum, the state-run National News Agency reported. The Portuguese leader, who came on a one-day visit, and Prime Minister Fuad Saniora met at the Beirut airport, where they also discussed regional developments, NNA said without giving details. Cavaco Silva then flew with a UN helicopter to southern Lebanon where he inspected some 150 Portuguese troops serving with the UN peacekeeping force overseeing a truce along the Lebanese-Israeli border. The president, accompanied by Defense Minister Nuno Severiano Teixeira, visited the Portuguese unit based in the village of Shama, near the border town of Naqoura, where the UN force known as UNIFIL has its headquarters.