NewsSpecial WireIran FM to discuss future of Lebanon with Syria’s...

Iran FM to discuss future of Lebanon with Syria’s al-Assad

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Iran Focus: London, Feb. 11 – Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will travel to Damascus on Wednesday to hold talks with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on recent political troubles in Lebanon, a prominent Arab-language website reported on Monday. Iran Focus

London, Feb. 11 – Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will travel to Damascus on Wednesday to hold talks with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on recent political troubles in Lebanon, a prominent Arab-language website reported on Monday.

Mottaki will also meet and hold talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, the London-based website Elaph said.

The report added that Mottaki will also use the opportunity to hold talks with Khaled Mashaal, the political chief of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Regional allies Iran and Syria are both accused by the United States of being state sponsors of terrorism.

The UN Security Council decided in 2007 to set up a tribunal to prosecute the killers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated by a truck bomb on 14 February 2005.

Saad al-Hariri, the Majority leader in the Lebanese Parliament and the son of Rafik al-Hariri, accuses Syria of orchestrating the murder.

On Thursday, Saad al-Hariri chided Iran and Syria for meddling in Lebanon’s political affairs and urged a massive turnout for a rally on the third anniversary of his father’s assassination.

“On February 14 we will converge on Martyr’s Square from all corners of the country to speak out loud in one voice that we want a president… to say that the road to the presidency cuts through Beirut and the parliament building, not through Damascus, Tehran or any other capital”, news wires quoted al-Hariri as saying. “We are faced with the political and terrorist presence in Lebanon of the Syrian and Iranian regimes, but we will not sit by and watch. … If confrontation is our destiny, then we stand ready”.

Due to factional feuding between al-Hariri’s Western-backed majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition, Lebanon has been without a president since November 2007 when the term of Syrian ally Emile Lahoud ended. Thirteen attempts since September to select a new President have failed. Army chief General Michel Sleiman has been slated for the post.

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