Plan For Lebanon Set By Arab League
Filed Under: Politics, World | Posted: 01/05/2008 at 9:53PM
Comments | Region: Lebanon
The move by the foreign ministers of the Arab League to support General Suleiman, who is the Lebanese army chief was agreed on at a consultative meeting in Cairo, Egypt. This move comes ahead of Sunday’s crisis talks of the 22-member body which is called forth to deal with the political situation of Lebanon.
Lebanon has been without a president ever since November due to a dispute between the Western-backed government and the Syrian and Iranian backed opposition. While a session was postponed until December 28, it was moved back and will take place on January 12.
“The ministers welcome favourably the consensus around Michel Suleiman as a candidate for the presidency and call for his immediate election,” said Amr Moussa, the Arab League Secretary General.
Moussa said that Syria had supported the move. Currently, Syria backed Hezbollah, which is the opposition group in Lebanon. He added that the ministers have agreed on a three-stage plan that is supposed to be adopted on Sunday.
This three-part plan will envisage the election of a president, creation of a national unity government and the adoption of a new electoral law. The newly elected president will have powers to approve or disapprove government decisions.
However, both sides still disagree on how the future government will be formed. On Friday, Hezbollah said it will not allow a president to be elected unless it had a third of the cabinet seats.
A third of the cabinet seats would give Hezbollah veto power over key decisions.
This crisis has frozen the government and parliament for over a year. It has spilled over into armed clashes and political assassination.