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Arab League Chief in Syria to Address Lebanon's Political Crisis


The head of the Arab League says the grouping of nations is advancing "step by step" toward solving the political crisis in Lebanon.

Amr Moussa says, however, he is neither optimistic nor pessimistic about achieving a breakthrough in Lebanon, which has been without a president for nearly two months.

He spoke after holding talks Saturday in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moussa has been urging political rivals to accept an Arab plan for electing a new president to end the stalemate between the Western-backed ruling coalition and the pro-Syrian opposition.

The plan calls for the election of Lebanese army chief General Michel Suleiman as president and a national unity government.

Lebanon's ruling coalition supports the Arab plan. But the opposition, led by the Syrian-backed Hezbollah, insists it receive veto power before allowing the election of General Suleiman.

Lebanon's parliament has postponed a presidential vote 12 times. Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled the next vote for January 21.

A series of attacks in Lebanon in recent years has targeted anti-Syrian politicians. Syria has denied involvement.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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