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Lebanese leaders in Doha for peace talks

Opposition and Lebanese government officials planned to meet Friday in the Qatari capital Doha for a national dialogue hosted by the Arab Leaque.  The meeting, scheduled for 2 p.m. EST, seeks an end to some of the worst political violence in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war. 

Leaders from Hizballah and the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora agreed Thursday to hold negotiations to elect a new president and form a unity government.  Lebanon has been without a president since Emile Lahoud stepped down in November.

Arab League ministers brokered a six-point plan to “shore up the authority of the Lebanese state,” end political violence and called on all fighters to lay down their weapons.  The agreement also calls for an end to rhetoric that could spark further violence and the removal of check points and road blocks.  Fighters were seen removing the blockades to the Beirut airport Friday and flights resumed almost immediately. 

Siniora lifted measures Wednesday condemning Hizballah's private phone network and other telecommunication infrastructure.

The Lebanese parliament meets June 10 for its 20th attempt at electing a new president. Opposition leaders and the Siniora government agree on Gen. Michel Sulieman, the chief of the Lebanese army, for the presidential post, but differences remain over the make up of a unity government and laws governing parliamentary elections.



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors