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Lebanese leaders agree on unity government

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Lebanese leaders agree on unity government


Lebanon’s pro- and anti-Syrian factions have agreed on a government of national unity after six weeks of talks. The breakthrough was announced with a decree signed by President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who will lead the new government.

It follows a deal brokered by Qatar in May that ended a political stalemate and the worst violence in Lebanon since the end of civil war in 1990. “The government has been formed and we will work together to confront the challenges that lie ahead.” said Siniora.

Agreement came after a compromise giving a miniserial post to Ali Kanso, former leader of a pro-Syrian party linked to heavy violence in May. As set out in the Qatar deal, the opposition led by pro-Syrian Hezbollah will occupy 11 out of 30 cabinet seats and will have the right to veto decisions.

The anti-Syrian majority will have 16 cabinet posts, leaving the president to appoint three ministers, including the key jobs of Defence and Interior Ministers.

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