BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Union’s foreign policy chief said Monday he backed Lebanon’s embattled Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who faces protests by supporters of the Hezbollah movement seeking to bring down the government.

"Prime Minister Saniora has done a good job," Javier Solana told reporters. "There is a constitutional government, which came from free elections and is behaving in our opinion in a very positive manner."

The standoff between Saniora and the Hezbollah-led opposition turned violent Sunday leaving a Shiite man dead from gunshot wounds and 21 others injured. Soldiers and police, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, surrounded government headquarters in a protective cordon.

Solana issued a veiled warning that unrest would jeopardize plans to raise international aid for Lebanon at a donor’s conference planned for mid-January in Paris. "It would be a great pity for the people of Lebanon if the conference of Paris about Lebanon is not a great success," he said.

He urged dialogue between the government and opposition to resolve the standoff.