Sarkozy Breaks Off Syria Talks

Stop blocking progress in Lebanese presidential stalemate, French prez warns
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2007 4:30 AM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, shakes hand with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in the gardens of the presidential palace shortly after his arrival, in Cairo, Sunday Dec. 30, 2007. Nicolas...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – France has lost patience with Syria and has cut off mediation talks until Damascus stops obstructing the election of a new president in Lebanon, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced yesterday. Lebanon has been without a president since November and the Syrian-backed parliamentary opposition has been accused of blocking the election of a new head of state. Syrian officials have denied that they're interfering with the process.

"I will not have any more contact with the Syrians until we have proof of Syria's intention to let Lebanon designate a president of consensus," said Sarkozy in Cairo after meeting with President Hosni Mubarak. A Syrian spokesman insisted that the nation was "working with France to reach agreement on a president who represents all Lebanese."