Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Saniora holds a press conference in front of hundreds from a Beirut delegation who visited the Government House to show support, Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday Dec. 5, 2006. Shiites on Tuesday buried a young man killed in street clashes in a Sunni Muslim neighborhood as the country’s army commander warns the military may not be able to contain any further protests linked to Lebanon’s tense political standoff.
Germany and France have issued a joint call to Syria to “stop supporting forces that seek to destabilise Lebanon and the region”.
“France and Germany call for an end to all interference in the affairs of Lebanon,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Jacques Chirac said Tuesday in a joint statement after meeting in Mettlach in western Germany.
“As far as Syria is concerned, we want that country to stop supporting forces that seek to destabilise Lebanon and the region,” the statement said.
They said that in exchange for heeding the call, Syria could hope to “resume normal conduct with the international community and in particular with the countries of the
Merkel and Chirac expressed their full support for the embattled Western-backed government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, who is facing mass protests and calls for his government to resign.
And when Israel was at war against Syria and Iran client state within a state, Hezbollah, where were the Europeans?
Well, they were carping at Israel and then by the end of the war reluctantly offered men and material to the United Nations in order to preserve the peace and prevent the rearming of Hezbollah.
And what has been the result?
Hezbollah is rearming with impunity and attempting with Syria’s help to bring down the democratically elected Saniora government.
Lebanon’s Muslim Shi’ite Amal movement members carry the coffin of Ahmad Mahmoud in the suburbs of Beirut December 5, 2006. Mahmoud was killed on Sunday during clashes between Sunni residents and Shi’ite protesters in the Qasqas neighbourhood in Beirut.
In the meantime, Fouad Siniora vows to stay on despite mounting pressure.
Lebanese Premier Fouad Siniora vowed Sunday to remain in office despite opposition supporters camped outside his offices for the third day calling on him to resign. As nationalist songs were blaring from the nearby tents of the opposition in Downtown Beirut, a Mass was held at the Grand Serail to commemorate the assassination of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.
Gemayel died in a shooting ambush in a Christian suburb of Beirut last month.
The service was led by Beirut Maronite Bishop Boulos Matar and attended by Siniora, his anti-Syrian ministers, Gemayel’s family, and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, as well as other politicians from the March 14 Forces.
Siniora said the protests would not achieve the opposition’s goal, hinting that they might take counter-action if the Hizbullah-led sit-in drags on.
“A solution to any problem does not come through the street because this means might trigger a counter-means and we will not reach any result,” Siniora told reporters after the Mass.
“I will not leave; I am going to stay here for as I enjoy Parliament’s confidence. I am here by the confidence of the Lebanese and the constitutional institutions,” he said.
Siniora and his supporters describe Hizbullah’s campaign as a coup attempt led by Syria and its ally, Iran. “We are used to coups d’etat in Lebanon and the Arab world and we know its results and there was one attempt in 1961 and it failed,” he said, “so why try something that is already known to fail?”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) gestures as she chats with French president Jacques Chirac upon their arrival in Mettlach in western Germany. France and Germany have turned up the pressure on Syria, telling Damascus to stop destabilising Lebanon as mass protests against Prime Minister Fuad Siniora entered a fifth day.
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