Lebanon talks up Palestinian state

Oct. 2, 2011 at 8:53 AM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Lebanon's parliamentary speaker called for Arab unity at a Tehran Arabic summit on achieving a Palestinian state, Beirut's Daily Star reported Sunday.

Nabih Berri told the 5th International Conference on the Palestinian Intifada in Tehran that unity was lacking in Arabic states and said Israel was behind the disunity.

"In the current state of the Middle East this resistance in fact represents a Lebanese necessity to prevent Israel from exploiting and fragmenting the Arab system in order to single out Lebanon or the Palestinian territories," Berri said.

Referring to the various Arabic countries that underwent political upheaval and pro-democracy revolts beginning in January, Berri said Israel was losing some of its regional clout, the newspaper said.

"At the Arab and Palestinian levels, we are sensing positive developments, namely that Israel can no longer claim to be the single democracy in the Middle East after what we witnessed in terms of Arab developments," he said.

As for the ongoing anti-government protests in Syria, Berri challenged allied Arabic countries to refocus their policies and concentrate on Palestinians.

"Here we ask: 'Where is the official Arab boycott of Israel instead of Syria?'" Berri asked. "Why is Arab money being spent to fund protests in Syria instead of supporting the Palestinians to stay in their land?"

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