France to oppose those creating instability in Lebanon - Hollande

BEIRUT Sun Nov 4, 2012 3:29pm IST

France's President Francois Hollande (L) speaks during a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

France's President Francois Hollande (L) speaks during a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut November 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir

Related Topics

BEIRUT (Reuters) - France will oppose those creating instability in Lebanon, President Francois Hollande said on Sunday, two weeks after a car bombing in Beirut that the political opposition have blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Lebanon has been threatened by spillover from the 19-month-old conflict in neighbouring Syria in which 32,000 people have been killed as a peaceful pro-democracy movement morphed into an armed uprising after Assad tried to crush it by military force.

"I want to remind all those who have an interest in creating instability in Lebanon that France will oppose that because Lebanon is an example of unity," Hollande said during a joint press conference with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.

Lebanon was thrown into crisis when top anti-Syrian intelligence officer Wissam al-Hassan was killed in a car bomb in Beirut on October 19. He had led an investigation that implicated Syria and its Shi'ite Muslim Lebanese ally Hezbollah in the assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

After last month's attack, the political opposition demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose government includes Hezbollah. Syrian troops were garrisoned in Lebanon until 2005.

"I would say to all those who can contribute to the stability of Lebanon is to work through the spirit of dialogue," Hollande said on a trip to Beirut before flying to Saudi Arabia. France, one of Assad's strongest critics, has called for U.N. protection of areas controlled by opposition rebels in Syria.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam and Oliver Holmes; editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Pakistan Mourns

Pakistan Mourns

Parents bury children after school attack.  Full Article 

SpiceJet Grounded

SpiceJet Grounded

SpiceJet says fleet grounded on lack of fuel.  Full Article 

Business Sentiment

Business Sentiment

Asian business sentiment rebounds in Q4 with India most optimistic.  Full Article 

Abbott Speaks

Abbott Speaks

Tough new national security laws, bail rules failed hostages - Australian PM.  Full Article 

Curiosity on Mars

Curiosity on Mars

NASA rover finds organic molecules, methane gas on Mars.  Full Article 

Oddly Enough

Oddly Enough

Over 20,000 bras recalled in Japan due to injury fears.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage