Arab League chief sees new Lebanon government soon

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon will soon form a national unity government in line with a Doha agreement to end the country’s political crisis, Arab League chief Amr Moussa said on Sunday.

The Doha deal, brokered by Qatari-led Arab mediators last month, led to the election of President Michel Suleiman and pulled the country back from the brink of a new civil war.

The agreement stipulates the formation of a government where the Hezbollah-led opposition holds veto power. Security incidents and bickering over cabinet portfolio has held up the mission of Prime Minister-designate Fouad Siniora and raised questions whether the deal would be implemented in full.

But Moussa, ending a three-day visit to Beirut that included talks with several leaders, said the wait would be over soon.

“I hope that the Lebanese would be pleased with news of agreement to form the government soon. This is our hope,” Moussa told reporters at Beirut’s airport.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, trounced supporters of the U.S.-backed majority in a military campaign in Beirut and nearby mountains in early May. The fighting, the worst since the 1975-1990 civil war, killed at least 81 people, and led to the Arab intervention.

Lebanon had been locked in a power struggle between both camps since November 2006 which left the constitutional institutions largely paralyzed and heightened sectarian tensions.

The Doha deal also stipulates that the rivals would hold talks on divisive issues, including the fate of Hezbollah’s weapons, after the formation of the government.

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