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Middle East
Lebanon 'agrees unity government'
Fouad Siniora, prime minister designate, to announce deal on cabinet and parliament.
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2008 13:01 GMT

Al-Hariri said a new government was expected "within hours" [AFP]

Lebanon's politicians have reportedly reached an agreement over the formation of a unity government.

Fouad Siniora, the prime minister designate, was to announce the new cabinet later on Friday, after meeting Michel Sleiman, Lebanon's president, according to political sources in the capital, Beirut.

Saad al-Hariri, the outgoing coalition's majority leader, said he expects a new Lebanese government "within hours".

He said the agreement "took a lot of sacrifice" but his side and the Hezbollah-led opposition "made some compromises ... for the sake of Lebanon and the Lebanese people".

"From this starting point, God willing, all the obstacles have been removed," he said.

The agreement would give Hezbollah, the Shia group, and its allies veto power over government decisions.

Al-Hariri said Siniora had also accepted Ali Qanso, former leader of the Syrian Social Natonalist Party, as a member of the cabinet on Hezbollah's insistence.

Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said if the deal goes forward, the new parliament could be expected to convene within a couple of days to tackle some of the country's most contentious issues.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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