Lebanon's president calls for dialogue

Nov. 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said "constructive political discourse" was the best way to address national issues given the tense situation in the country.

The Syrian civil war has threatened to spill into Lebanon. A mid-October car bombing in Beirut killed former Lebanese intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, an attack the opposition March 14 coalition blamed on Damascus.

March 14, led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announced plans to boycott the administration led by Prime Minister Nijab Mikati.

Opposition leaders said unseating Mikati wouldn't create a power vacuum in Lebanon. Suleiman suggested broad-based dialogue was the best way forward.

"Sitting at the dialogue table and resorting to a constructive political discourse is the best way amid (recent developments) in Lebanon and the region to agree on a solution for the current problems through a calm and rational dialogue," he was quoted by The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon as saying.

U.S. officials have reached out to Lebanese leaders, including opposition figures, to discuss ongoing political affairs. The ruling March 8 slate includes lawmakers from Shiite resistance movement Hezbollah.

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