U.N. chief in Lebanon ahead of elections

Nov. 16, 2007 at 4:20 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Lebanese leaders to reach agreement to ensure next week's presidential elections meet widespread acceptance.

Ban met with various Lebanese leaders addressing the importance of choosing a new president according to the state constitution and international expectations, the Kuwait news agency reported Friday.

"A free and fair election of a new president appointed through constitutional rules, without foreign interference, is a milestone for the development of Lebanon as a vibrant democracy," Ban told reporters.

Ban's visit followed talks with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who assisted leaders in developing a list of candidates for opposition and majority parties to review.

Arab League head Amr Moussa also visited the area, speaking with Syrian officials on the upcoming Lebanese presidential elections.

"Lebanon is going through a very sensitive time, and we all agreed that it is important that they agree on a consensus president and a solution is found to the ongoing crisis," Moussa said, Friday's Lebanon Daily Star reported.

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