Business strike grips Lebanon

Two-day protest comes as parliament prepares to vote on UN tribunal protocol.

    Damascus has denied it had anything to do with
    Wednesday's assassination of Pierre Gemayel

    The statement called on the government and its opponents to break the political deadlock and urged the cabinet and parliament to "take national decisions ... engage in dialogue and stop making threats of street protests".

    Siniora's appeal


    The two-day strike "was to raise the voice against this crime"

    Statement from the business leaders referring to the assassination


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    Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, called for a parliament session to be held on Saturday to approve a protocol sent by the UN over the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, a former prime minister.


    The decision - a highly divisive issue because Syrian officials have been implicated in the murder – has added further to the tensions, say Associated Press reports.


    Damascus has denied it had anything to do with the murder.


    But boosting Siniora's cabinet, a government official said on Friday that Hassan Sabaa, who had resigned 10 months ago, will resume his duties as the interior minister.


    The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.


    Many Lebanese had hoped the murder of the 34-year-old politician would bring the political leaders together and help resolve the crisis.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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