French FM's Lebanon trip ends without headway

French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner Sunday ended a visit to Lebanon without making any apparent headway, and after warning of the danger of violence if the eight-month political standoff was not resolved through talks.

French FM's Lebanon trip ends without headway
French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner Sunday ended a visit to Lebanon without making any apparent headway, and after warning of the danger of violence if the eight-month political standoff was not resolved through talks.

Despite succeeding in gathering representatives of feuding Lebanese factions around the same table earlier Sunday, Kouchner said his trip was "just a step, and don't expect me to resolve Lebanon's problems."

He told reporters at Beirut airport that he would leave after holding a meeting there with Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose plane was due in the capital later Sunday.

Kouchner was due later in Cairo to brief the foreign ministers of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the Arab League secretary-general on his Beirut mission.

The French foreign minister, on his second trip to Lebanon this year, said he would return and was considering hosting a second conference similar to the July 14-15 meeting that gathered all Lebanese parties near Paris.

On Sunday, Kouchner lunched at the French ambassador's residence in Beirut, together with leaders and representatives of the Western-backed ruling majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition backed by regional allies Syria and Iran.

After meeting rival officials Saturday, Kouchner warned of the danger of violence if the eight-month standoff between Lebanon's political parties was not solved through negotiations.


AFP
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2007, 11:09
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