Rival Lebanese leaders reached a compromise agreement today which ended the 18 month stand-off that has virtually paralyzed the nation and nearly brought about a possible resumption of civil war. Parliament will meet on Sunday to elect army chief Michel Suleiman as president of the nation. the agreement between the American backed government and Hizbullah came about after the recent outbreak of violence in which Hizbullah forces readily routed those supporting the government. Under the compromise agreement, Hizbullah will have a virtual veto power regarding decisions to be made by the government.
“Today, we are opening a new page in Lebanon’s history,” said Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni politician who heads the governing coalition. “I know the wounds are deep, but we have no one except each other,” Hariri is regarded as the potential prime minister of the new government. Most Lebanese seek an agreement in which there is no victor and no one defeated.
The compromise marks another defeat for the Bush administration program of no negotiation with Hizbullah. In the end, it was discussions and engaging in dialogue which produced the basis of peace in Lebanon. Hizbullah is part of the process regardless of whether they are liked or not.