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Lebanon: Politics and Government

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects on the security situation in Lebanon of the imminent expiry of the deadline to agree a new President by 24 November; and what diplomatic support the UK is providing to the process. (168549)

The security situation in Lebanon remains volatile and precarious, with tensions running high over the election of a new President. Since December 2007 there have been three bomb attacks in Beirut, two of which have killed senior members of the Lebanese army and security forces as well as bystanders. On 27 January 2008 serious civil disturbances killed seven people in Beirut.

The UK continues to support efforts by the international community to resolve the crisis. Bilaterally, my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East (Dr Howells) visited Beirut in December 2007 to highlight to all sides the need for compromise. Our ambassador in Beirut continues to be active on the ground, encouraging all sides to come to an agreement. I refer the right hon. Member to the detailed statement my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East made to the House on the current situation in Lebanon during the end of day adjournment debate on 28 January 2008, Official Report, columns 141-46.