Saniora: Moscow could help normalize Lebanon

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said that his government was eager to improve strained relations with Syria but warned Damascus against meddling in Lebanon's domestic politics, according to an interview published Monday. Saniora, speaking to the daily Vremya Novostei, said that he told Russian officials during his trip to Moscow last week that Russia could help normalize the situation in Lebanon by using its contacts with Iran and Syria. "Russia could help Lebanon stop serving as an arena for somebody else's battles and become a normal, successful country," Saniora was quoted by Vremya Novostei as saying. The Syrian-backed Lebanese Hizbullah guerrilla group and its allies have been holding protests and an open-ended sit-in against Saniora's US backed government in an attempt to force it to resign. The group was demanding a national unity government in which it would have wider representation with effective veto powers.