Arab foreign ministers decided Monday to send a delegation to the United Nations to represent Lebanon's interests at the Security Council, an aide to Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said. The three-man delegation will include the foreign ministers of Qatar, the only Arab member on the Security Council, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.
"The Arab delegation will support Lebanon's position at the United Nations and seek to amend the U.S.-French draft resolution," the aide told The Associated Press.
Siniora told reporters following the Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut that the Syrian foreign minister supported the cabinet's seven-point plan, including the part about placing the Shebaa farms under UN control.
Update. Some reports say (Naharnet) that the Syrian foreign minister, Walid Mouallem, left the meeting in protest because the meeting's final statement did not pay tribute to Hizbullah's "resistance."
When asked about why the statement did not name Hizbullah as the "resistance", Siniora said (Future TV broadcast) "the statement supports Lebanon and the resistance of its people."
I am trying to get hold of the final statement, but at this point, nobody has it, according to LBC.
But it seems the only person requesting explicit support for Hizbullah was the Syrian foreign minister, who reportedly (LBC) had a heated argument with his Saudi counterpart during the meeting. LBC's reporter said Mouallem left the government building (serail) before the other Arab ministers and refused to make any statements. "I have nothing to say," he told reporters. Mouallem had plenty to say yesterday, however.
Update 2. Parts of Siniora's speech on Naharnet.
Prime Minister Fouad Saniora broke down in tears on Monday as he appealed to Arab foreign ministers not to allow his war-torn country to remain a conflict zone and a "punch bag" for Israel.
Saniora's voice choked and his hands shook as he held a copy of his speech in which he said "we do not want the Lebanese state and the Lebanese people to remain the punch bag of Israel or anyone else."
"We are determined not to be the arena for conflicts and confrontations from now on, whatever the justification," he said at an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League.
After stopping for moments of tearful silence, Saniora said: "We are basing our arguments on the sorrows of the widowed women, the dead children, the wounded and the homeless people."