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UPDATED: 18:14, April 02, 2007
German chancellor arrives in Beirut for talks with Lebanese officials
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Beirut Monday to hold talks with Lebanese officials on increasing political and security cooperation between the two countries.

Merkel is scheduled to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and she is set to hold a press conference before leaving Beirut.

She will also meet with German troops who head the United Nations (UN) marines on the Lebanese coastlines to prevent smuggling of weapons and products according to UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

The chancellor's visit to Beirut comes amidst a climate of escalating political tension between pro-government parliamentary majority and opposition group that has been lasted for four months.

Merkel, whose country is holding the rotating EU presidency, is on a Middle East tour which has taken her to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Source: Xinhua

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