Erdogan gets Hero's welcome in Lebanon
Amidst fears of renewed sectarian violence in Lebanon, the people of Beirut yesterday warmly greeted visiting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as the Lebanese capital's streets were adorned with Turkish flags and posters of Erdogan saying "Hosgeldin" (welcome in Turkish).The visit to Beirut, accompanied by a full delegation including several Cabinet ministers, came only days after a Canadian media report linked militant Shiite group Hezbollah to the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. "If the prosecutor hasn't given his final word and put the documents forward, the judge can't make a ruling," Erdogan was quoted as telling Lebanese daily As-Safir ahead of his visit. In the same article, Erdogan said Turkey will do everything in its power to prevent war in Lebanon. Erdogan's first official meeting in Beirut with President Michel Suleiman was followed by talks with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Later in the day he visited the Turkmen village of Kouachra in northern Lebanon and spoke with Turkish troops serving with the UN peacekeeping force stationed in southern Lebanon.