Hezbollah Included in Lebanon Unity Government

Militant group gets one cabinet slot among 16 for opposition in move to calm strife
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 1:15 PM CDT
A Lebanese resident removes a burnt mattress from his house a day after street battles in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Thursday, July 10, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Lebanon’s political factions finally formed a unity government today, Reuters reports, with militant group Hezbollah included in the coalition formed after weeks of wrangling. With Hezbollah and its allies effectively holding veto power, it appears Syria—long allied with the militants—will regain some of the dominance it long held in Lebanon—where fears of civil war are now greatly diminished.

“Finally!” said one Beirut man. “Hopefully it will be a real national unity government and they won't waste time fighting.” With the opposition guaranteed 11 of 30 cabinet positions, one went to a Hezbollah member; the rest went to its Shi’ite, Druze, and Christian allies. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the coalition's main task is to rebuild confidence in the political system.