Syria and Saudi Arabia cooperating on Lebanon

Once bitter rivals, two countries want to avoid violence amid UN Hariri tribunal in Lebanon; Saudis were major Hariri supporters.

Hizbullah Nasrallah on TV 311 AP (photo credit: Associated Press)
Hizbullah Nasrallah on TV 311 AP
(photo credit: Associated Press)
DAMASCUS — Syria's foreign minister said his country is working with Saudi Arabia to help ease tension in Lebanon on Wednesday.
Syria and Saudi Arabia were once bitter rivals but recently made an unprecedented show of cooperation to stave off an eruption of violence from the investigation into the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri.
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Hariri was a former prime minister of Lebanon whose killing set off a wave of turmoil in the the region. Many fear there could be violence if a UN tribunal investigating the case indicts members of the militant Hizbullah group.
Saudi Arabia was a strong backer of Hariri, a prominent Sunni Muslim politician while the Shi'ite Hizbullah has been a strong ally of Syria.
Hizbullah has taken several steps to slow the progress of the UN tribunal, including saying it will use its position in the Lebanese government to block funding for the investigation.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Wednesday that Syria and Saudi Arabia want a stable Lebanon.