Arab ministers meet to discuss Lebanon crisis, Gaza attacks

(dpa) - Eighteen Arab foreign ministers met Wednesday at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo to discuss the Lebanese political crisis and the latest attacks on the Gaza strip, while preparing for the Arab summit, scheduled to be held in Syria on March 29.

On Tuesday, the Arab League ambassadors have failed to resolve three main issues, all relating to setting the agenda of the Arab summit, supporting the Lebanese crisis and negotiating the developments in Gaza.

The issues were left for the Arab ministers to be resolved in their meeting on Wednesday, diplomatic sources told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa has contacted the Lebanese leaders, requesting the presence of majority and opposition representatives in the meeting, sources told dpa.

The Lebanese political crisis is considered the most complicated issue to be discussed at the meeting, where Mussa plans to explain what he achieved during his latest efforts to resolve the conflict.

Lebanon has been without a president since Emile Lahoud's term ended in late November. So far 14 attempts to hold a parliament session to choose a new president have been postponed.

Mussa has made several missions to Beirut to push for the Arab League initiative calling for the election of Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as a compromise candidate for president.

The plan also calls for the formation of a national unity government in which no one party has veto power and the adoption of a new electoral law.

So far his efforts have been unsuccessful and the political tensions have on occasion turned into street clashes in Beirut amid ominous warnings by some of renewed civil strife.

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