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EU Calls For Negotiated Solution To Lebanon Crisis

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has called for a negotiated solution to Lebanon's political crisis after the country's government collapsed with the withdrawal of the Shi'ite party Hizballah.

Lebanon was left without a government when 11 ministers from of Hizballah and its allies resigned on January 12 over tensions connected with the United Nations investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The resignation came amid speculation that the UN probe could soon charge senior members of Hizballah over the 2005 bombing that killed Hariri.

President Michel Suleiman today asked Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son, to remain as head of a caretaker administration.

compiled from agency reports