Siniora seeks Moscow's help

The Lebanese prime minister will discuss his country's relations with Syria.

    Siniora says dialogue must solve the internal crisis 
    "We are grateful for that assistance... Relations between Lebanon and Syria do have a future. We are still to discuss many issues, and both countries will only benefit from this.
     
    "I believe that Russia can exert certain efforts in this situation.
     
    "Syria and Lebanon are two brotherly countries. Nobody will set Lebanon against Syria and nobody will govern Lebanon from Syria."
     
    "No future"
     
    Opposition groups, led by Hezbollah, have been holding a mostly peaceful demonstration in central Beirut since December 1 calling for Siniora to resign.
     
    In an interview given to the British business newspaper, The Financial Times, before he left for Russia, Siniora said the protests had "no future" and "would not lead to anything".
     
    Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, has mobilised thousands of protesters and has threatened to escalate its protests if demands for a unity government are not met.
     
    "Escalate to where?" Siniora asked.
     
    "They know the dangers, there are red lines in Lebanon... A takeover of the state is not achievable."
     
    Alliance
     
    Supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and the Christian party have joined the Hezbollah protests in what is seen as an unlikely alliance.
     
    Alain Aoun, an FPM official, said: "Hezbollah is respecting Lebanese cultural diversity and distancing itself from the spectre of an Islamic republic along Iranian lines."
     
    Nada Ashkar, a 28-year-old Christian, said she is not fooled by this association: "All this just for the presidency."
     
    Ashkar pointed to what she called "social differences" that could put paid to such an alliance. "During the 2005 protests [after al-Hariri's assassination] we all slept under the same canvas - Christians, Sunnis and Druze, men and women.
     
    "This time, however, the Hezbollah tents and those of Aoun's [party] supporters are well separated from each other - by up to several hundred metres in places."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.