- Lebanon - Michel Sleiman - peace - Syria - Tripoli
Is it two steps forward, one step back? Lebanon has suffered a terrorist attack just as groundbreaking steps were being taken to stabilize the country. Just yesterday Lebanon's new unity cabinet survived a crucial vote of confidence which many hope will bring an end to months of dangerous factional infighting. And today, the country's new president, Michel Sleiman, set off for Syria to meet face to face with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al Assad.
Lebanon and Syria are looking to establish diplomatic relations for the first time in 60 years. This also marks the first time a Lebanese president has visited Damascus since Syria withdrew troops from Lebanon in April 2005.
But, just as the political moves were under way, a bomb in the port city of Tripoli killed at least 18 people including nine Lebanese soldiers, and wounded 40 others. Which forces are at play in Lebanon and can the delicate political unity be maintained?