Lebanon Rivals Agree on Crisis Deal

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CBNNews.com - Rival Lebanese factions have agreed on steps to resolve an 18-month political crisis that pushed the country to the edge of another civil war, a Lebanese Cabinet minister said Wednesday.

After five days of intensive talks in the Arab state of Qatar, delegates from the U.S.-backed government and Hezbollah-led opposition reached a consensus.

Has Hezbollah gained too much power in Lebanon? Watch CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck for more.

The Bush administration is calling the new peace deal between Lebanon's feuding factions "a necessary and positive step."

The deal -- which was reached with the help of Arab mediators -- follows a violent uprising earlier this month by Hezbollah that left at least 67 people dead. It was Lebanon's worst internal fighting since the 1975-90 civil war.

There's concern, however, that Hezbollah has gained too much power in the new deal. As part of the agreement, the group will now have veto power over any government decision.

Hezbollah's demand for Lebanon to be redistricted into smaller sized districts was also approved.

The agreement was aimed at resolving disputes over electing a new president and drafting an electoral law.

The law is significant because it determines how the factions will distribute power in Beirut, which would influence the outcome of Lebanon's next parliament elections in 2009.

Lebanon has been without a president since November, when Emile Lahoud stepped down.

Source: The Associated Press, ABC News, CBN News

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