Sarkozy voices backing for Lebanese 'authorities'

12th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy "reaffirmed his support for Lebanese authorities and institutions," after the powerful Shiite party Hezbollah and its allies toppled the government on Wednesday, a statement said.

Sarkozy voiced his support during a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Elysee palace said, adding that he had also called for concerted global efforts to help "Lebanon overcome this delicate phase."

Lebanon's government collapsed after 10 ministers resigned from the cabinet of Saad Hariri over a UN probe into the assassination of his father, former premier Rafiq Hariri.

The shock pullout came as Hariri was holding talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama. He is due to hold talks with Sarkozy in Paris on Thursday.

For months, Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, has been pressing the Western-backed Hariri to disavow the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) probing Rafiq Hariri's killing on the ground it is part of a US-Israeli plot.

According to unconfirmed press reports, the STL is poised to indict senior Hezbollah members in connection with Rafiq Hariri's 2005 assassination, a move the militant party vehemently rejects.

© 2011 AFP

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