Accessibility links

Leaders of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon End Beirut Summit

The leaders of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon met in Beirut Friday on ways to defuse tensions surrounding a possible indictment of Hezbollah members for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah held talks with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the son of the slain prime minister, and others.

Several key members of parliament from Hezbollah were also present at the meeting held at the presidential palace.

A communiqué issued after the meeting says "the leaders stressed the importance of stability" and the commitment of the Lebanese to refrain from violence. The statement says the leaders talked about the need to place Lebanon's interests "above all sectarian interests."

Rafiq Hariri and 22 others were killed in a truck bombing in Beirut on February 14, 2005. U.N. investigators have accused Syria of plotting the attack, a charge Damascus denies.

The assassination prompted the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, ending Damascus' 30-year military presence in the country.

Syria has had strong ties to Hezbollah. There are fears that new clashes could erupt between Lebanon's Shi'ite and Sunni communities if Hezbollah leaders are indicted.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.