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Siniora Accuses Syria of Holding Lebanon Hostage - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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CAIRO (AFP) – Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora on Sunday accused Syria of holding Lebanon hostage by blocking the election of a new president, following talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Siniora told reporters he saw the Lebanese-Syrian relationship as one of siblings and “one sibling cannot kidnap his brother and keep him hostage in the hope of getting a ransom,” he said.

He urged Arab foreign ministers to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the political deadlock in Lebanon and the country’s strained relations with Syria.

Siniora also called for the implementation of an Arab League-sponsored initiative which calls for the election of General Michel Sleiman as president, the formation of a national unity government and a new electoral law.

Lebanon has been without a president since November, when pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud stepped down with no successor elected.

Although the two camps support Sleiman as the consensus candidate, they remain at loggerheads over power-sharing in the future government.

Last month, an Arab summit in Damascus failed to clinch a breakthrough on Lebanon, instead spotlighting the rift between host Syria and boycotting US allies who blame Beirut’s political crisis on Damascus.

Half the leaders of the 22-member Arab League, including those of pro-Western Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, boycotted the Damascus summit.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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