Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar Assad (AP)
January 28 – At a meeting in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers decide that Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa should mediate between competing factions within the Lebanese government to solve the deadlock over cabinet composition and election of the president.
February 19 – Prime Minister Siniora says that the Arab League summit “will lose a lot of its importance” if convened before the Lebanon crisis is resolved.
February 20 – Saudi Foreign Minister al-Faisl calls for “all those with influence” to facilitate progress in meeting the Arab initiative in Damascus. He also states that Lebanon is “on the verge of civil war.”
February 24 – Egyptian President Mubarak and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia meet to discuss the Lebanon crisis and the summit. While on his tour of Gulf Arab countries meant to unify positions ahead of the summit, Mubarak says that Syria is part of the problem in resolving the crisis in Lebanon and calls on Syria to help resolve the crisis.
February 25 – Presidential election delayed for 15th time– election rescheduled for March 11.
February 27 – King Abdullah II of Jordan meets with the Saudi king to discuss a path forward concerning Lebanon and the Arab summit scheduled for late March.
February 28 – Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador to Syria transferring him to Qatar–the first posting of a Saudi Arabian ambassador to Qatar since the former ambassador was recalled over six years ago.
March 2 – Saudi Arabia advises its citizens to leave Lebanon amid threats to the safety of Saudi diplomatic personnel and citizens.
March 5 – Arab foreign ministers meet in Cairo in preparation for the summit and urge the opposing sides in Lebanon to elect Maronite Christian and General Michel Suleiman before the summit. Lebanon’s acting Foreign Minister Tarek Mitri and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Mouallem argue about Syria’s role in the crisis.
Saudi Foreign Minister al-Faisl and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki meet at the airport in Cairo in an attempt to resolve the conflict.
Syrian Foreign Minister al-Moualem says that both Saudi Arabia and Lebanon will be invited to the summit.
March 6 – President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan of the United Arab Emirates confirms that he will attend the summit, making his the first of the Gulf countries to affirm attendance.
March 7 – Siniora says that he is willing to attend the summit as long as the “facts and factors are conducive” to it.
March 8 – The foreign ministers of Iran, Oman, Qatar and Syria hold an unannounced meeting in Damascus. Qatar and Oman have resisted the call to boycott the summit.
March 9 – Syrian officials deliver a formal invitation to the Arab League Summit to Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa says that Saudi Arabia will attend, but has yet to decide at what governmental level they will participate. Sources say Lebanon will be invited on March 12.
March 10 – Lebanon vote postponed for the 16th time since President Lahoud’s term expired. Election scheduled for March 25, four days before the Damascus summit.
See a timeline of the Lebanese presidential crisis since the former president, Emile Lahoud, stepped down.