Lebanon’s leaders have agreed on a new government – the first since Syrian forces withdrew.After weeks of tough negotiations with the Prime Minister, President Emile Lahoud has approved the new 24-member cabinet. For the first time, the line-up includes a senior member of the Hizbollah group which is branded a terrorist organisation by the United States. Fifteen of the ministers share the premier’s anti-Syrian stance but Fouad Siniora insisted his new government was unified. The new government has many challenges ahead – not least proving that Lebanon can take care of its internal security without Syrian troops after a spate of bombings, assassinations and rising tension between pro and anti-Syrian factions.
Hizbollah joins Lebanon's first post-Syria govt