Feuding Factions in Lebanon Reach Deal in Crisis Talks
The deal reportedly would give he Syrian-backed opposition 11 seatsin the cabinet, and it would give16 seats to the US-backed majority.
Rival Lebanese factions reached an agreement to resolve their 18-month political crisis after five days of intensive talks in the Gulf state of Qatar, Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh said Wednesday.
Mr. Hamadeh said the factions stuck the breakthrough deal at dawn in the Qatari capital, Doha, where a signing ceremony was expected at 10 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT), chaired by Qatari ruler Emir Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Speeches by both sides and the Arab mediators would follow, he said.
The Qatar-hosted talks followed Lebanon's worst internal fighting since the 1975-90 civil war, with clashes between pro-government groups and the opposition raging in the streets of Muslim west Beirut, the central mountains and the north. At least 67 people have died. As the country came close to a new all-out war, Arab League mediators intervened and got the sides to agree to hold negotiations in Qatar on resolving the crisis that has paralyzed the country.
Mr. Hamadeh also said that under the agreement, Hezbollah-led opposition got its key demand -- veto power in a new national government. Obtaining veto power was Hezbollah's main demand that triggered the 1½-year-long crisis.