Saudi Arabia, Syria urge unity government in Lebanon


  • World
  • Thursday, 08 Oct 2009

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria and Saudi Arabia urged the formation of a national unity government in Lebanon on Thursday after a summit between President Bashar al-Assad and King Abdullah, the official Syrian news agency said.

"The importance of reaching consensus in Lebanon was affirmed and finding points of agreement through the formation of a national unity government as basis for the stability of Lebanon," the agency said.

Syria and Saudi Arabia back rival political players in Lebanon. An understanding between the two countries is seen as crucial for the formation of a new government in Beirut.

Saad al-Hariri, a Saudi and U.S.-backed Lebanese political leader has been trying to form a new government since June but has not managed to solve disagreements with an opposition that includes Iranian and Syrian-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah.

When Hariri was initially designated as prime minister he openly stated his aim to form a unity government but he has been less specific about the nature of the cabinet.

Hezbollah and its allies have repeatedly called on Hariri to form a national unity government.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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