Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users taking on the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • IS militants ‘behead’ missing US journalist in gruesome video

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

  • Australia to free children from immigration detention centres

    Read more

Lebanese government and opposition reach deal

Latest update : 2008-05-21

Leaders of Lebanon's government and Hezbollah-led opposition have reached an agreement ending a crisis that brought the country to the brink of civil war, an opposition MP said at negotiations in Doha. (Report: J. Creedon)

DOHA, May 21 (Reuters) - Rival Lebanese leaders reached a
deal on Wednesday to end 18 months of political conflict that
had pushed their country to the brink of a new civil war.
 

Delegates from the U.S.-backed ruling coalition and the
Hezbollah-led opposition told Reuters disputes over a
parliamentary election law and a new cabinet had been settled on
the sixth day of Arab-mediated talks in Qatar.
 

"The deal is done. The text has been written," an opposition
delegate told Reuters. The official announcement was expected at
10.00 a.m. (0700 GMT), he added.
 

A ruling coalition delegate also confirmed the deal, which
will meet the opposition's long-standing demand for veto power
in cabinet.
 

Hezbollah, a group backed by Iran and Syria, increased
pressure on the ruling alliance this month by routing its
followers in a military campaign. The Qatari-led negotiations
built on mediation that ended violence which killed 81.
 

It was Lebanon's worst civil conflict since the 1975-1990
war and exacerbated tensions between Shi'ites loyal to Hezbollah
and Druze and Sunni followers of the ruling coalition.
 

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani joined the
Doha talks shortly before midnight after returning from Saudi
Arabia -- one of the main foreign backers of the ruling
coalition.
 

A deal paves the way for parliament to elect army chief
General Michel Suleiman as president, a post that has been
vacant since November because of the political deadlock. The
vote in parliament could take place as soon as Thursday,
delegates said.
 

The anti-Damascus ruling coalition had long refused to meet
the opposition's demand for cabinet veto power, saying the
opposition was trying to restore Syrian control of Lebanon.
 

Syria, a close ally of Iran, was forced to withdraw troops
from Lebanon in 2005 following the assassination of former Prime
Minister Rafik al-Hariri.
 

The United States has held up the withdrawal as a foreign
policy success story.
 

But Hezbollah's military campaign this month was a major
blow to U.S. policy in Lebanon and forced Prime Minister Fouad
Siniora's government to rescind two measures targeting the
Iranian-backed group.
 

The deal will include a pledge by both sides not to use
violence in political disputes, echoing a paragraph in the
agreement that ended the fighting.

Date created : 2008-05-21

COMMENT(S)