U.N. stands ready to help Beirut

May 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 25 (UPI) -- The United Nations supports Beirut in its efforts to ensure stability and security in Lebanon is safeguarded, a U.N. delegate said.

Derek Plumbly, U.N. special envoy to Lebanon, met in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati. The security and political situation in Lebanon is tense following border clashes near Syria and an outbreak of gun violence in Beirut.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman announced plans to embark on efforts toward kick starting a political dialogue between rival political factions in the country.

"I know there is public concern about the manifestations of insecurity that have been seen over the past two weeks," Plumbly said in a statement. "But I believe they have also alerted all of us to the need to work together to sustain calm and stability in Lebanon at this time of turbulence in the region."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, meanwhile, spoke Friday with Mikati to inform him 11 Lebanese men kidnapped this week in Syria were released to Turkish authorities, The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon reported.

Mikati's office reported the men were in good health and on their way to the Lebanese capital.

Conflict in neighboring Syria is in its second year. Damascus before Lebanon's revolution in 2005 played a dominant role in the country's political affairs.

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