Tuesday Jan 03, 201205:04 PM GMT
Iran's envoy invites Lebanese to unity
Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:25AM
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Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi
Iran's Ambassador to Beirut Ghazanfar Roknabadi has called on all political groups in Lebanon to surmount challenges facing the country through unity and perspicacity.

Roknabadi met and held separate talks with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and the country's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt on Friday, ISNA reported.

The Iranian envoy invited all Lebanese parties to reach a common understanding to overcome problems and threats facing the country.

“The US and the Zionist regime (Israel) caused the Saudi-Syria initiative to fail in order to create an atmosphere of disunity. At this stage, these are the Lebanese that can go past this critical situation through perspicacity,” Roknabadi told reporters after talking to Berri.

In the meeting with Jumblatt, the Iranian diplomat repeated the need for Lebanon to stand united to overcome challenges and foil plots by enemies and on top of them Israel, which seek to drive a wedge between the Lebanese.

Lebanon further went into a political turmoil after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's unity government collapsed on Wednesday.

The collapse came after 11 ministers from Hezbollah and its allies resigned in protest at Hariri's refusal to hold an urgent cabinet meeting to discuss abandoning a US-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

The Washington-backed tribunal was set up to probe the assassination of Hariri's father, Rafiq Hariri, who was killed along with more than 20 other people in a massive car bombing in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in February, 2005.

The tribunal has been denounced by many political parties in Lebanon, including Hezbollah resistance movement, as an Israeli-American plot trying to sow discord in the country.

According to reports, the tribunal plans to charge some members of Hezbollah in connection with the assassination.

Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has strongly rejected the allegations, saying the plot is part of "a dangerous project that is targeting the resistance."

On Monday, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman will hold formal consultations on the establishment of a new government and will poll lawmakers on their choice for a new prime minister.

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