Saudi FM Rejects Muallem's Internationalization Charge

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Saudi FM Rejects Muallem's Internationalization Charge

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:09 pm


Saudi
Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has snapped back at his Syrian
counterpart Walid Muallem who had said that a meeting held in Kuwait
risked internationalizing the Lebanese crisis.


"I
don't understand how a meeting on Lebanon is an internationalization of
the cause, as the issue (is being debated) at the United Nations," Saud
on Wednesday told a joint news conference with visiting British Foreign
Secretary David Miliband.


The
Saudi foreign minister also called for a "positive stance" towards the
meeting, which was orchestrated by France, and held on the sidelines of
a conference on Iraq Tuesday.


The
meeting in Kuwait was attended by representatives of Britain, Egypt,
France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
the United Arab Emirates and the United States, as well as the United
Nations, the Arab League and the European Union.


Saud
stressed the need to help Lebanon become stable and said "all those who
attended (the meeting) backed the Arab initiative without exception."


The
Western and Arab states called on Tuesday for the immediate election of
Army Chief Gen. Michel Suleiman president and the "redefining" of
Beirut's relations with Damascus.


But
Muallem, whose country has been blamed for the deadlock in Beirut, said
the meeting might result in internationalizing the crisis in Lebanon.


"We
fear that given the way in which the meeting is being held, it is aimed
at taking the Lebanese crisis out of the hands of the Arab League
Secretary General (with the aim of) internationalization," he told a
news conference.


Prince Saud on Wednesday said he discussed the Lebanese crisis with Miliband.

He
stressed "the importance of safeguarding Lebanon's constitutional
institutions, (including) the presidency, the seat of the prime
minister, parliament and the Lebanese army as a guarantee to Lebanon's
security and stability."


Saud
also urged the immediate election of Suleiman president, the formation
of a national unity government and called on bickering parties to
review parliamentary election laws as stipulated by the three-point
Arab plan.



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