The opposition, which includes Shia and Christian factions, said it hoped Sunday would be "a day in which deaf ears and blind eyes would open by meeting the legitimate demands and replacing monopoly with participation and the one-colour government with a national unity government".

Opposition demands

The government has rejected repeated demands from Hezbollah and its allies for increased representation which would give them an effective veto in the cabinet.

Six opposition ministers resigned from the government last month.

"However long it takes, the Lebanese will have to sit back down together."

Fuad Siniora, 
Lebanese
prime minister
Fuad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, has refused to step down and urged Hezbollah and the other opposition parties to return to negotiations.

"However long it takes, the Lebanese will have to sit back down together," he said.

"Our hands are extended. Our government is constitutional and we did not accept the resignation of our colleagues," said Siniora. "We have to find a solution by sitting down together, away from tension and confessional incitement."

Michel Aoun, the Christian opposition leader, has warned that his camp  would escalate its street protests if the government failed to accept demands for a national unity cabinet.
  
"If the prime minister and his camp continue to monopolise power, there will be an escalation of popular pressure," Aoun told AFP news agency. "We will paralyse the government, we will force it to go into a deep coma."

Diplomatic efforts

Your Views

"The same story is being repeated in Lebanon. People are sick and tired of living on the edge. Let the people live in peace.. Drop the violence and the demonstration. Kids want to live, parents want to enjoy their families. It is not about you,the politicians, it is about the future of your children and grandchildren."

Alibaba, LA, USA

Send us your views

Arab diplomats, fearing a return to civil war, have been attempting to resolve the crisis.
  
Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister, warned that the crisis in Beirut could damage "the stability, unity, security and autonomy of its political power", at a meeting of Gulf Arab foreign ministers on Thursday.

A Sudanese envoy, who arrived in Beirut on Thursday for talks with the rival factions, supported the opposition's call for a national unity government.

"In our view, the basis of a solution must be founded on the formation of a national unity government and withdrawal of dialogue from the street to parliament," Mustafa Osman Ismail, a special envoy of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, said.