Arab League backs Suleiman as Lebanese leader

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Arab League backs Suleiman as Lebanese leader

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Arab League foreign ministers have backed the head of Lebanon’s army as the next president of the politically divided country.

At a meeting in Cairo, Arab nations, including Syria, endorsed Commander General Michel Suleiman.

Support from Damascus suggests that the Lebanese opposition – led by the Syrian-backed Hezbollah – may be willing to vote for Suleiman.

In Beirut, some saw the Arab League as meddling, while others supported its involvement.

“We hope, as do all the Arab communities, that the Arab states take a role in the current political crisis in Lebanon. All the foreign mediations led to nothing so that is why we support any Arab initiative,” explained one man.

But another resident said: “We hope to God that the Arabs help in a solution but our problems come from their interference. If they don’t interfere and let the Lebanese talk to each other, all our problems will be solved.”

While the Western-backed government and the opposition agree on Suleiman, they disagree over the shape of a future government.

On Friday, Hezbollah said it would not allow a president to be elected unless it received one third of the cabinet seats, giving it and its allies a veto over key decisions.