Assad, Hamad Stress 'Importance of Preventing Aggravation of Situation in Lebanon'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on Thursday stressed "the importance of stability, security and preventing the aggravation of the situation in Lebanon," Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported.

Talks between Assad and Sheikh Hamad, who arrived in Damascus on a sudden visit, dealt with "the bilateral relations between the two countries and the latest developments in the region, particularly in Lebanon, amid the failure of the efforts aimed at reaching a solution there," SANA added.

Turkey and Qatar abandoned on Thursday efforts to break the deadlock between rival parties in Lebanon's political crisis, a day after Saudi Arabia also threw in the towel, raising fears of an escalation.

After two days of intensive talks, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar, Ahmet Davutoglu and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al-Thani, said they were suspending the negotiations.

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it was giving up its efforts to mediate and warned of a dangerous situation that could lead to the partitioning of the multi-confessional country.

The Turkish and Qatari officials said overnight they were leaving Beirut after meeting with the various parties because of reservations over a draft agreement they had submitted.

Lebanon is mired in a deep crisis over a dispute between the Western- and Saudi-backed caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah over a U.N. probe into ex-PM Rafik Hariri's murder.

On Monday, the prosecutor of the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) submitted a sealed indictment in the case, which is now being reviewed by a pre-trial judge.

Hizbullah has said it expects party members to be implicated by the STL, which the party accuses of being part of a U.S.-Israeli plot.

The party and its allies forced the collapse of Saad Hariri's government last week because of the dispute.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.