Talks to name new Lebanon PM postponed

AFP, Monday 17 Jan 2011

Talks on naming a new premier in crisis-hit Lebanon were postponed on Monday, as the prosecutor of a UN court probing the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri was set to submit indictments in the case.

"After assessing the positions of various parties in Lebanon ... President Michel Sleiman has decided to postpone parliamentary consultations until Monday, January 24 and Tuesday, January 25, 2011," read a statement released by the president's office.

Talks with parliamentary groups to name a new prime minister had been scheduled after the powerful militant group Hezbollah forced the collapse of the Western-backed government of Saad Hariri, son of the slain leader.

The government collapse plunged the country into a crisis that many fear could escalate into violence.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies quit the cabinet on Wednesday because of a dispute over the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), set up to investigate Rafiq Hariri's 2005 assassination.Lebanese state news agency reported that talks to name new Lebanon PM was postponed.


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