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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Doha Dialogue Talks - 5th Day of Talks - May 21, 2008 - Lebanese Leaders Reach Agreement
Doha Dialogue Talks - 5th Day of Talks - May 21, 2008 - Lebanese Leaders Reach Agreement PDF Print E-mail
Written by CRNews   
Wednesday, 21 May 2008

People celebrate as Prime Minister Fuad Saniora talks on TV, after Lebanese politicians came to an agreement in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. Lebanon's feuding factions ended the country's long political stalemate Wednesday, Arab mediators in Qatar announced, after a breakthrough deal that gives the militant Hezbollah group and their allies veto power on any government decision. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
People celebrate as Prime Minister Fuad Saniora talks on TV, after Lebanese politicians came to an agreement in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. Lebanon's feuding factions ended the country's long political stalemate Wednesday, Arab mediators in Qatar announced, after a breakthrough deal that gives the militant Hezbollah group and their allies veto power on any government decision. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Lebanese Leaders Reach Agreement Ending Crisis

Lebanese leaders reached an agreement in Doha early Wednesday to end a long-running political crisis that nearly drove the country to a new civil war.

"An agreement has been reached," between the pro-government majority and the Hizbullah-led opposition, MP Ali Hasan Khalil told reporters.

The agreement calls for electing a president immediately, formation of a government based on a 16-11-3 formula (16 for the majority, 11 for the opposition and 3 to be chosen by the president), adoption of the Qada-based 1960 electoral law such as Beirut is divided into three constituencies ( 5 – 4 – 10) for one time only.

"We expect a (parliamentary) vote to elect a president on Thursday or Friday," Khalil said ahead of a Wednesday deadline for the Doha talks to wrap up.

Another opposition delegate who requested not to be named had said earlier that a joint committee formed to iron out differences over a decisive electoral law for parliamentary polls due next year had been "making final touches to a deal."

Lebanese rivals agreed last year on electing army chief Gen. Michel Suleiman as a successor to Damascus protégé Emile Lahoud, who stepped down at the end of his term in November.

But they have differed over shares in a proposed unity government and the electoral law.

The talks hung in the balance Tuesday after Qatari hosts announced a Wednesday deadline to receive responses to two proposals put forward by an Arab ministerial committee led by Qatar.

Qatar had put forward a compromise proposal calling for an immediate parliamentary vote to elect Suleiman as president and the formation of a unity government while postponing talks on a new electoral law, a government delegate said earlier.

The Syria- and Iran-backed opposition refused to put off discussion of the disputed electoral law, and insisted on getting a "blocking minority" in a proposed unity government.

According to the government delegate, a second proposal suggested a return to an electoral law adopted in 1960, which is no longer in force. That would require amendments to disputed constituency boundaries in the capital Beirut -- the bedrock of support for Sunni parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri.

Rival parties aim to secure as many as possible of the capital's 19 seats in the 128-member parliament.

Both proposals also offered the opposition the long-demanded blocking minority, the same delegate said.

The 18-month-old political deadlock erupted into bitter sectarian fighting earlier this month that saw 65 people killed and during which Hizbullah and its Shiite allies briefly seized Sunni areas of mainly Muslim west Beirut.(AFP-Naharnet)

Beirut, 21 May 08, 07:05

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&378615FFB5E495B5C22574500016E433

Live Coverage - May 21, 2008 - Agreement Reached in Doha

Live Coverage   Sixth Day in Doha - Fifth Day of Talks ... Accord is Born
10:27pm Aoun said had it not been for the military operations (by Hizbullah) the Arabs wouldn't have moved to help Lebanon.
10:25 Aoun said he believes the majority would not nominate Saniora to head the new cabinet.
10:20pm Aoun said Hizbullah weapons do not scare off the Lebanese.
10:17pm Aoun said his understanding with Hizbullah persists.
10:15pm Aoun said the Doha Accord is binding until the 2009 parliamentary elections only.
10:12pm Aoun said all the Lebanese emerged victorious in Doha.
10:10 Aoun said his FPM would be represented by five ministers in the new cabinet.
10:00pm FPM Leader Michel Aoun told OTV he was relieved from the presidency Burden.
9:41pm Hariri said the agreement would heal the wound resulting from what has happened.
9:40pm Hariri said we hope for a new era in Lebanon.
9:39pm Hariri said Egypt and Saudi Arabia were instrumental in backing the Doha dialogue.
9:38pm Hariri said the Doha agreement is an historic accord.
9:36PM MP Akram Shohaieb said the Syrian-Israeli honemymoon is on and Lebanon was used as a stage for this honeymoon.
9:00pm Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir Discusses the Lebanon situation with U.S. President George Bush at the White House.
8:50pm Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan congratulated the Lebanese for the Doha accord.
 8:34pm Austria welcomed the Doha accord and expressed hope it would lead to a new Lebanon.
 8:05pm Italy expects the implementation of the Doha accord and the election of Suleiman President.
 7:50pm Lebanese leaders returned from Doha to Beirut airport aboard a Qatari jetliner.
 6:20pm U.S. Secretary of State Rice said the Doha Accord is a positive step in the march to settle the Lebanon crisis.
 5:55pm White Balloons released in Martyrs square to declare the return of normal life to the city center.
 5:25pm Public Works Minister Mohammed Safadi returned to Beirut from Doha aboard his executive jet.
 5:05pm Parliament Speaker Berri informed Premier Saniora that the presidential election session is set for Sunday.
5:03: Jordan welcomed the "historic" Doha accord.
5:01pm Egypt welcomed the Doha accord and urged its implementation.
5:00pm Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat said the Doha accord includes a success mechanism and is not a mere truce.
 4:15pm Syrian President Bashar Assad contacted the Emir of Qatar to congratulate him on the inter-Lebanese agreement reached in Doha.
 4:10pm Lebanese Forces leader said the Doha accord is a compromise.
 3:48pm The Lebanese Forces Party said it did not declare any reservations regarding Suleiman's election, but called for amending the constitution.
 3:30pm Sunni Mufti Sheik Mohammed Rashid Qabbani congratulated MP Saad Hariri for the Doha accord, stressing that Lebanon emerged victorious.
 2:50pm Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman told Agence France Presse he is pleased with the Doha accord.
 2:35pm Ex-MP Suleiman Franjieh said he is ready to mediate between Saad Hariri and Syria, but cannot guarantee Jumblat.
 1:45pm National News Agency said Free Patriotic Movement and AMAL have removed their tents, while Hizbullah is planning to remove all its tents in one batch.
 1:30pm The opposition informed head of Beirut’s municipality and its mayor that it will rehabilitate downtown Beirut.
 1:00pm Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Riza Shibani said Tehran backs the Lebanon agreement reached in Doha.
 12:50pm Hundreds of people and shop owners of downtown Beirut took to the streets of the city in jubilation over the Lebanon agreement.
 12:46pm Aoun: We will tackle the other issues in Beirut and there is no need to fear anything.
 12:45pm MP Michel Aoun to Future TV: The agreement was not ideal to either party and I hope that it will serve as a launch pad for decent relations between the majority and the opposition.
 12:20pm Saudi Arabia supported the Lebanon agreement in Doha.
12:10pm MP Hussein Hajj Hasan to Future TV: The resistance is for all (Lebanese) and is not just monopolized by Hizbullah. We will never use weapons internally for political gains.
12:00pm MP Michel Murr: Presidential elections were set for Sunday so Arab and international personalities will have a chance to attend.
11:55am Members of the opposition began dismantling the tent city in downtown Beirut following a deal to end the political crisis.
11:50am Former President Amin Gemayel to LBC: We are satisfied with the Accord, particularly regarding the part that deals with the arms issue and spreading state authority throughout Lebanon.
11:48am France hailed an agreement in Qatar to end Lebanon's crisis as an "essential step" to returning the Middle East nation to "unity, stability and independence."
11:44am Arrangements have been made to welcome the new President at the Baabda palace within 24 hours.
11:37am Qatar’s PM informed Geagea that a formal invitation will be sent to him to visit Qatar soon.
10:36am Geagea: I hope, God willing, all the (Lebanese) sides will be sincere in exerting every effort to build a free and sovereign state with the power to take decisions like war and peace.

 10:35am Geagea during a press conference in Doha: The settlement does not fulfill all of our dreams. The agreement, however, was a big progress.
 11:30am Fireworks were unleashed in Amshit, hometown of Gen. Michel Suleiman, in celebration of the Doha Accord.
 11:20am MP Saad Hariri from Doha: We are always ready to give concessions for the sake of coexistence, and open a new page for reconciliation.
 11:00am Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Damascus backs the agreement reached between the Lebanese leaders in Qatar.
 10:58am Qatar’s Emir at closing session: This conference succeeded because the various Lebanese sides shouldered responsibility.
 10:56am Saniora: We will have no future without internal unity that will enable us to confront Israel.
 10:55am Saniora: We will work out a fair settlement to return the Palestinians to their land after the Lebanese rejected their naturalization.
 10:48am Berri announced from Qatar on behalf of the opposition an immediate lifting of an 18-month-old sit-in in downtown Beirut.
 10:46am Moussa: We reached a No Victor, No Vanquished formula.
 10:45am Qatar’s Emir: Lebanese leaders vowed not to use arms for political gains.
 10:42am Qatar’s Emir: The Lebanese leaders agreed on electing a President and adopting the 1960 electoral law.
 10:32am Qatar’s prime minister reads the agreement that had been reached between Lebanese leaders in Doha.
 10:30am The session to announce the Lebanon Accord began.
 10:20am NBN: Berri on Thursday will set a date for presidential elections.
 10:00am Heads of delegations are meeting with Qatar’s Emir before going to the Celebration Hall where the Accord will be announced.
 9:38am LBC: A meeting grouping the various Lebanese leaders will be held in Doha very soon prior to the declaration of the Accord.
 9:35am Lebanese delegations in Qatar began packing their suitcases prior to the official declaration of the accord.
 9:30am Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea: The Accord was the best we could come up with and a President is likely to be elected within 48 hours, a government will be formed next and then the elections law will be adopted.
 9:15am Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad to Voice of Lebanon: We have high hopes for the Doha Accord which will rescue us from this crisis. No one in the world can cure our wounds if we don’t cooperate with one another.
 8:50am Al-Arabiya TV: Speaker Nabih Berri will today set a session to elect a new President for Lebanon.
 7:35am As Safir: Arab League official Hisham Youssef confirmed that the Accord deals with the arms issue in line with the Beirut document that ended six days of gunbattles and that the arms topic will top the talks that will resume in Beirut.
 7:30am As Safir daily: Preparations are underway to end the sit-in in downtown Beirut after nearly 18 months.
 7:14am International news agencies predicted Gen. Michel Suleiman's election on Thursday.
 7:00am The agreement is expected to be signed in Doha at a ceremonial session chaired by Qatar's Emir at 10 am Wednesday.
 6:30am The Accord also called for formation of a national unity government based on a 16-11-3 formula (16 for the majority, 11 for the opposition and 3 to be chosen by the president).
 6:05am Beirut seats were distributed such as 10 for Mazraa, 5 for Ashrafiyeh, 4 for Bashoura.
 6:00am Lebanese leaders reached an agreement at 2:30am Wednesday in Doha which called for immediate presidential elections and adoption of the Qada-based 1960 electoral law such as Beirut is divided into 3 constituencies.
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 May 2008 )
 
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