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Mediterranean EU Members Call for Firm Stance towards Syria

ICC Note

The international community should confront Syria and stop it from obstructing the process of electing a president in Lebanon .

January 18, 2008 Lebanon (Naharnet News)-Mediterranean EU foreign ministers on Friday urged the European Union to “define a consistent policy towards” Lebanon’s neighbor Syria, which has been accused by opponents in Beirut and Western governments of blocking the vote.

The ministers from 10 nations voiced support for Arab League efforts to help rival Lebanese leaders overcome their differences and elect a president, to fill a seat vacant for nearly two months.

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Lebanon has been without a president since November 24, when pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud stepped down at the end of his term and parliament has failed to hold an election 12 times since September. A new session is due on Monday.

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The majority has endorsed the plan but the Hizbullah-led opposition, backed by Syria and Iran , insists that it be granted a third of the seats in a new government so it can have veto power.

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