Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora
Photo: AP

Lebanese government capitulates to Hizbullah

Government's decisions that caused violent uprising repealed in effort to placate Hizbullah. Celebratory firing of weapons resounds through capital

Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi al-Aridi said in a press statement on Wednesday that the US-backed cabinet has cancelled two measures it took against Hizbullah, which triggered the worst internal fighting in the country since the 1975-90 civil war.


The two measures in question were the army's decision to overturn a government act to reassign the head of Beirut airport security, and the decision to probe a communications network set up by Hizbullah.


The government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said after a meeting that it was taking the step to preserve civil peace and facilitate an Arab League mediation effort to end Lebanon's 18-month old political crisis, which has left the country without a president since November.


The Hizbullah network Al-Manar reported the government's decision, which was accompanied by celebratory firing of weapons. "This decision will have numerous ramifications," the newscaster said, reading from a statement.


"Despite the fact that both of the government's decisions were used as an excuse for violence and use of weapons, and stressing that we are opposed to the use of armed violence for the achievement of political objectives, the government has decided to cancel both of its decisions."


Lebanese media reported that the decision to repeal the acts was instated despite Saudi Arabia's request that the government refrain from ceding to Hizbullah. The organization demanded that the decisions be revoked in exchange for removing the siege from the nation's airport and for halting the revolt it had declared.


At least 81 people were killed since the violence erupted one week ago, in a revolt that saw Hizbullah seize control of many parts of Lebanon's capital Beirut.


פרסום ראשון: 05.15.08, 00:53
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