Egypt’s Mubarak meets leader in Lebanon’s 14 March Alliance

President Hosni Mubarak met Saturday with Amine Gemayel, a leader in the Lebanese 14 March Alliance and former president of Lebanon, to discuss the recent developments in Lebanon two days before the country chooses a new prime minister.

Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Progressive Socialist Party there, said on Friday that his party is committed to supporting Hezbollah. This makes it more likely for the Hezbollah-led opposition–who have 57 seats in parliament–to secure a victory for Sunni politician Omar Karami at the expense of the 14 March Alliance's Saad Hariri.

On 12 January an independent minister and ten ministers from the Hezbollah-dominated 8 March coalition resigned. The resulting 11 member shortfall dissolved the Lebanese cabinet.

The resignations followed a dispute with Western-backed factions about expected indictments against Hezbollah over the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (Saad Hariri's father).

Hezbollah, meanwhile, denies any connection with the assassination of Hariri and accuses the tribunal investigating it of serving Israeli and US interests.

Egypt supports the March 14 Alliance, which is composed mainly of Sunni Muslim and Christian groups.

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