Syrian foreign minister criticizes US stance in Lebanon's vote crisis

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem criticized on Thursday the United States in the Lebanese presidential crisis, accusing it of allegedly blocking Syrian and French efforts to end the deadlock that has paralyzed Lebanon. The remarks by Moallem followed a visit to Lebanon by US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch, who this week accused Lebanon's Hezbollah-led opposition of obstructing the vote for the country's top post. Moallem's comments reflected consistent Damascus support for the Hizbullah-led opposition in the neighboring country. The Syrian official, speaking to reporters in Damascus, also expressed regret over what he described as failure of the French mediators in Lebanon to distance themselves from the American stance.