Iran TerrorismBush accuses Iran, Syria of undermining Lebanon

Bush accuses Iran, Syria of undermining Lebanon

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AFP: US President George W. Bush expressed concern on Tuesday at what he said were efforts by Iran and Syria to undermine crisis-hit Lebanon’s institutions through “violence and intimidation.” BEIRUT (AFP) — US President George W. Bush expressed concern on Tuesday at what he said were efforts by Iran and Syria to undermine crisis-hit Lebanon’s institutions through “violence and intimidation.”

In a letter to Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, Bush also called for the immediate and unconditional election of a new president in the country, which has been without a head of state since November.

“I am deeply concerned about the efforts of some, including Syria, Iran and their allies, to undermine Lebanon’s democratic institutions through violence and intimidation,” Bush said in the letter passed to Siniora by visiting US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Eric Edelman.

“The United States will not falter in its support for the democratically elected and legitimate Lebanese government.

“In this regard, the United States will continue to call for the immediate and unconditional election of a new president in accordance with Lebanon’s constitution.

“And we will support the democratically elected parliamentary majority’s efforts to stand firm in the face of pressure to abandon its principles.”

Lebanon has been gripped by a power struggle between the Western-backed majority and the opposition, supported by Syria and Iran, since pro-Damascus president Emile Lahoud stepped down on November 23.

Syria and Iran deny US accusations of meddling in Lebanon’s affairs, insisting that it is Washington and its allies Paris and Riyadh that are blocking a resolution of the deadlock.

Efforts to convene a session of parliament to elect a new head of state have been postponed 14 times, with MPs now scheduled to meet on February 26.

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