Saudi says Lebanon situation 'dangerous'
Beirut, January 19, 2011
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had abandoned mediation efforts in Lebanon between Shi'ite Hezbollah and Sunni leader Saad Al-Hariri over the killing of his father and warned that the country's future was at stake.
Regional power Saudi Arabia and Syria had worked for months to resolve a dispute between Hezbollah and Hariri over indictments in the 2005 killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, which are widely expected to accuse Hezbollah members.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said the kingdom had abandoned its efforts and that the situation in Lebanon was "dangerous".
"If the situation reaches separation or partition of Lebanon, this means the end of Lebanon as a state that has this model of peaceful cohabitation between religions and ethnicities and different groups," he told Al Arabiya television.
"It would be a loss for the whole Arab nation".
Despite the declared withdrawal by Saudi Arabia, a powerful regional player and close supporter of Hariri, other countries were continuing efforts to find compromise.
Analysts however say no compromise or breakthrough could happen without backing from Saudi Arabia. Ministers from Qatar and Turkey were holding a second day of talks in Beirut. - Reuters