Despite emergency meetings on Tuesday, the Lebanese government has effectively collapsed following the resignations of 11 government ministers from Hezbollah and its Lebanese allies.
The row that led to resignations is over a UN investigation into the murder in 2005 of Rafik Hariri, father of the current Lebanese prime minister. Last minute meetings with Saudi Arabia and Syria to resolve the deadlock also failed.
Mohamed Fneish, a Hezbollah minister, said: “Unfortunately our efforts have reached a dead end, due to US pressure and the inability of the other party to withstand this pressure.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri cut short a trip to Washington where he was holding talks with US Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton and President Obama to fly back to Beirut.