British FM in Syria amid Mideast unrest


Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague was due to arrive in Syria on Wednesday for a long-planned two-day trip, as unrest engulfed parts of the Middle East, including neighbouring Lebanon.

During the trip he will hold talks with President Bashar al-Assad about the political situation in Lebanon, the Middle East peace process and Iran’s nuclear programme, Hague’s office said in a statement.

Hague arrives at a time of unprecedented protests in Egypt against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, following the overthrow two weeks ago of Tunisian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt. [ID:nLDE70P2G6

Violence has also broken out in Lebanon this week, with protesters burning tyres and blocking roads across the country, after Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati was named prime minister.

Mikati’s nomination is seen as a victory for Hezbollah, which has challenged the impartiality of a U.N.-backed tribunal set up in 2009 to try the killers of statesman Rafik al-Hariri and which is expected to accuse members of the Shi’ite group. Reuters



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