Iran hails Lebanese deal to end crisis
May 22, 2008
TEHRAN – Iran on Wednesday lauded Lebanese political factions for reaching an agreement to end a long-running political crisis which pushed the country to the brink of a civil war.The majority and the opposition factions have agreed to form a national unity government. The parliament will convene on Sunday to elect army chief General Michel Suleiman president.
The deal was struck after five days of intense talks in Doha, brokered by Qatari emir and prime minister.
“Iran hopes the Doha agreement… will give the Lebanese a bright future and will pave the way for the freedom of the remaining occupied territories of Lebanon,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammas-Ali Hosseini stated.
“Iran has made every effort for the success of the Doha meeting. The deal is the outcome of attempts made by Lebanon’s friendly countries and is a clear example of regional unity aimed at establishing peace and stability in the region,” Hosseini observed.
The agreement grants veto power to the opposition and provides for changes to the electoral law.
The changes will divide Lebanon into smaller-sized districts to apparently allow for better representation from the country’s various sects.
Lebanon’s parliament has tried and failed 19 times to vote for a new president since Emile Lahoud’s term ended last November.
Despite general agreement on army chief General Michel Suleiman to fill the post, political factions continued to argue over the new cabinet’s make-up