- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2011

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar have left Lebanon and suspended efforts to resolve the country’s deepening political crisis, according to a statement released Thursday.

The foreign ministers’ “efforts resulted in a working draft that takes into account political and legal demands to resolve the current crisis in Lebanon based on the Syrian-Saudi initiative,” the statement said.

“But given certain reservations, they decided to suspend their efforts in Lebanon for the time being and to leave Beirut in order to consult with their leadership.”

Lebanon’s unity government was toppled last week after Hezbollah-aligned ministers withdrew in protest of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s refusal to disavow a U.N. tribunal that is widely expected to indict top Hezbollah officials for the 2005 murder of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Indictments in the case were submitted to a pre-trial judge in the Hague on Monday.

The two foreign ministers, Turkey’s Ahmet Davutoglu and Qatar’s Sheik Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, had arrived in Lebanon Tuesday for talks with Mr. Hariri, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and other officials.

Their involvement follows the breakdown of mediation efforts by Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Wednesday that King Abdullah had “washed his hands” of the crisis.



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