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Region | Lebanon

Beirut protests continue

Lebanon's political crisis shows no sign of easing as protesters - who have spent a second night camping out in central Beirut - vow to stay for a year until Siniora resigns.

  • Agencies
  • Published: 00:00 December 3, 2006
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • Pro-Hezbollah protesters spend a second night in a tent city in Beirut to protest against the Western-backed government.
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Beirut: Thousands of protesters from Hezbollah and its allies on Sunday spent a second night camping out in central Beirut to protest against the Western-backed government.

Lebanon's political crisis showed no sign of easing, with the pro-Syrian opposition pressing its protest campaign to topple Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government.

"We are not letting them (ministers) sleep, we're disturbing them with our noise. We have the resilience to stay not for one month, but a year or two," said Ahmed Kayello, a protester.

Siniora, however, reiterated that he will not be forced to resign. "Protest is no solution," he said. "I am going to stay as long as I am prime minister by the will of the majority."

Breakfast vendors parked on pavements, some protesters read newspapers, and long queues formed behind portable latrines, a morning after thousands cried for Siniora's resignation during a late Saturday night rally.

Arab leaders, Western officials and visiting German and British foreign minister, however, prodded Siniora to stay.

"This government won an election and has the majority in parliament and therefore whoever wants to keep democracy in the country can't allow this government to be called into question in the streets," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Political sources from both camps said there were no serious moves to find a solution to the deadlock as both sides stuck to their positions.

"We don't expect the showdown to be resolved any time soon," one source said.

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