After a political deadlock in the last half year and a round of violence in Lebanon, in which Hizbullah took over, on 05/10/2008, almost offhand, the government positions in West Beirut and forced the pro American Lebanese government to withdraw from any plan to limit, in any way, Hizbullah operation in Lebanon, the factions in Lebanon gathered, on 05/14/2008, in Doha, Qatar, under the sponsorship of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatari emir, to reach a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Lebanon. The talks took place under the shadow of the complete military supremacy of Hizbullah in Lebanon. (See - LEBANON new crisis )
The Hizbullah demands were:
A. To man at least a third of the Lebanese Cabinet members, which can enable the Hizbullah, according to the Lebanese constitution, to veto any cabinet decisions such as the authorization of an international court to judge Rafik Haririsí assassin suspects (UN-STL) or the mandate of UNIFIĒL forces in South Lebanon.
B. To elect the current commander and the moderate pro Syrian Lebanese army - Gení MicheL Sulyman, who ordered the Lebanese army not to interfere as Hizbullah took over western Beirut, on 05/10/2008, as the next President of Lebanon.
C. To remove the pro American PM Fuad Senoira from his office and replace him by someone who is accepted on the Hizbullah too.
Following the last round of clashes Hizbullah added another demand - to change the election law in Lebanon so that the Shiaa community in Lebanon, over 60% of the entire Lebanese population, will share a larger portion of the seats in the parliament, presumably at lest 43 instead of 20 in the current situation, more then a third of the 128 Lebanese parliament members, and that the Shiites in Lebanon will be able to veto parliamentary decisions.
Unofficially the Hizbullah demands also a free hand in arming and training the Hizbullah as an extension of Iran against Israel.
On 05/20/2008 night, a Lebanese pro-Hizbullah negotiator in Doha, Ali Hasan Khalil, a senior aide to Nabih Berri, the speaker of parliament, said that "an agreement has been reached" and added "We expect a [parliamentary] vote to elect a president on Thursday or Friday". The two sides agreed on General Michel Suleiman as the Lebanese Next President.
The government and opposition appear to have agreed on the allocation of cabinet seats to form a new unity government that will give crucial veto power to the pro-Syrian opposition, which will have 11 out of the 30 Lebanese cabinet members.
The two sides are also thought to have resolved the dispute over a parliamentary law for elections to be held next spring although the details are not known yet. It seems that in that matter Hizbullah achievements are limited.
The personal status of PM Fuad Senoira was not officially addressed. It remains to see whether he will stay in power in the next months.
The Hizbullah will remain the strongest military power in Lebanon, affiliated to Iran and Syria, but it is assumed that Hizbullah agreed, for the time being, not to attack Israel without provocation.
Since the Lebanese politic is very fluid, the talks extended to one more day and an official enouncement was not published yet, changes and crisis of the last moment are still expected.
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