Qatar announces Lebanon deal (Lead)

May 21st, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by admin  

Doha/Beirut, May 21 (DPA) Qatar revealed Wednesday details of an agreement reached by Lebanon’s rival powers to elect a president within 24 hours and form a national unity government after five days of talks in Doha. Lebanon’s ruling coalition majority and the opposition powers pushed aside their differences and agreed to convene parliament for the election of army chief, General Michel Suleiman, as president and form a national unity government, Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin- Jabir al-Than announced.

Under the agreement, rival powers have also agreed not to resort to the use of force and violence irrespective of their differences.

Lebanon’s powers have also agreed to open a dialogue to strengthen the authority of the state and to restrict military and security powers in the hands of the state.

After the announcement of the agreement, Nabih Berri, speaker of the Lebanese parliament, said the opposition would end a sit-in, which it began staging months ago at the centre of Beirut.

Lebanon has been engulfed in its worst political crisis since 2006. The parliament has failed 19 times to convene and elect a new president since pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud ended his term in 2007.

The Lebanese delegates - three from the government and three from the Hezbollah-led opposition - have been meeting in Doha since last Friday in a bid to resolve the political impasse and to ease the tensions running high after bloody sectarian fighting claimed 82 lives two weeks ago.

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