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UPDATED: 10:21, January 04, 2007
Turkish PM warns Lebanon of sectarian conflict
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Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sounded the alarm Wednesday, warning that Sunni-Shiite conflict in Lebanon would affect the whole Middle East, local Naharnet reported.

"I informed Premier Seniora that intersect differences (between Sunnis and Shiites) would reflect on the whole region. All the sides in Lebanon and the region should move to solve this problem, " Erdogan told reporters after meeting his Lebanese counterpart Fouad Seniora.

Seniora, in the joint news conference, said that he thanked Erdogan for Turkey's humanitarian help to Lebanon during the 34- day war between Hezbollah and Israel last summer and its participation in the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) which is patrolling a 23-kilometer-deep demilitarized zone of south Lebanon abutting Israel's borders.

After meeting Seniora, Erdogan flew to southern Lebanon aboard a Turkish helicopter where he inspected his country's contingent serving in the UNIFIL.

Turkey currently has 261 soldiers in the UNIFIL, mainly engineers helping with reconstruction of the war-ravaged Lebanon.

The Turkish premier, who flew in earlier in the day for a 12- hour visit, also held separate talks later in the day with President Emile Lahoud, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, parliamentary Majority leader Saad Hariri before holding a second round of talks with Seniora.

Source: Xinhua

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