Dubai: Turkey will do everything in its power to prevent war in Lebanon, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview to the Al Safir newspaper on Wednesday.
Erdogan, who is hugely popular in the Arab world, visited Beirut on Wednesday in an effort to defuse the rising tension over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's reported plans to indict some Hezbollah members over the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
"Today, we stand by Lebanon as we always have," Erdogan said, adding that he did not wish to see the country descend into civil war again.
"This tribunal is aimed at destabilising Lebanon rather than rendering justice," Lebanese Druze leader Walid Junblatt said. "It would be appropriate at this time for the cabinet to meet and unanimously denounce the tribunal and its [upcoming] verdict."
Pressure has been piling on Lebanon's government to reject the tribunal and its findings and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to "cut the hand" of anyone who tries to arrest its members.
Hezbollah says the tribunal is political and aims to disarm the group.
The region stands to be affected if a sectarian conflict erupts in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consulted with top ministers behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss concerns that Hezbollah could attempt a coup against the government.
Similar concerns were raised last week by Israeli chief of staff Lt General Gabi Ashkenazi during a visit to Canada. "There is a real possibility that Hezbollah will take over Lebanon," an army statement quoted him as saying.