Dubai (dpa) – The Saudi foreign minister on Monday called on Arab countries to look into providing protection to Lebanese deputies after the latest killing of a member of parliament (MP) in Beirut.
Prince Saud al-Faisal told the Dubai-based al-Arabiya TV there were people who were killing Lebanese deputies to influence the country’s presidential election process.
Al-Faisal said Arab countries should take the initiative and decide on a protection for Lebanese deputies.
Parliament is due to meet on September 25 to elect a successor to pro-Syria President Emile Lahoud, but the vote is unlikely to take place owing to a lack of a two-third quorum, which could only be achieved if the opposing camps reached an agreement beforehand.
Ghanem’s death has now reduced the number of the majority to 68 in the 128-member parliament against a Shiite-Christian opposition bloc that includes Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran.
Al-Faisal called on the Lebanese to elect what he called a consensual president to avert more violence in the country.
The anti-Syrian MP, Antoine Ghanem, was killed in a bomb blast on Wednesday in east Beirut. He was the eighth anti-Syrian figure to be slain since the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.