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Arab League Chief Optimistic About Resolving Lebanon's Crisis


The head of the Arab League says Lebanon has a real chance to end the political stalemate that has left the country without a president since November.

The Arab League chief, Amr Moussa, met with Lebanon's Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, in Beirut on Thursday. Moussa told reporters after the meeting that the talks could serve as the basis for future progress.

The French News Agency quotes a Berri aide saying that Berri will hold talks on Friday with the leader of the pro-Western Future Movement. The agency says Moussa will also attend Friday's talks.

Moussa has urged rival Lebanese parties to accept an Arab League plan that calls for the election of army commander General Michel Suleiman as president and the creation of a national unity government.

The parties have agreed on Suleiman's election, but differ on the composition of the new government.

Moussa's previous efforts to mediate between the Western-backed governing coalition and the Syrian-backed opposition have failed.

Lebanon has been without a president since November, when the term of pro-Syrian President Emilie Lahoud expired. The country's parliament is set to hold another vote to elect a president on May 13. But elections have been canceled 18 times since November.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.