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Turkish PM urges unity among Lebanese factions

11-25-2010 14:42 BJT

BEIRUT, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wednesday urged Lebanon's rival factions to unite to overcome a standoff over a UN-backed court to probe the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

"We are interested in internal developments in Lebanon. We concentrate our efforts on how to help Lebanon maintain its unity, " Erdogan told reporters after holding talks with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Erdogan, who has been on a two-day official visit to Lebanon, held talks with the country's top officials and inaugurated a Turkey-funded school in the impoverished northern province of Akkar.

There should be "common grounds" among rival Lebanese factions and various sects in order to protect Lebanon against strife, Erdogan said.

Erdogan also warned Israel against launching a new war in the region, saying that the Israeli citizens will also suffer from the war.

"The government of Israel must realize that when security and peace are established in the region, it will also benefit from this peace," Erdogan told a rally, adding "but if a war erupts, the loser will not only be the people of this region, Israel's citizens will also lose."

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