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Lebanon Political Deal A Prelude To Reconciliation

Lebanese political accord should be prelude to reconciliation - Ban Ki-moon

21 May 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed today's agreement among Lebanon's political leaders on a deal to resolve their prolonged stand-off over the presidency and the direction of the country.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson following the agreement in Doha, Qatar, Mr. Ban said he looked forward to the early election of a new president and the formation of a national unity government.

"He hopes this agreement will be the prelude to a lasting period of national reconciliation, political stability, peace and progress for all of Lebanon's people and for the future of their country, as well as a stepping stone toward the full implementation of the provisions of the Taif Agreement and the relevant Security Council resolutions," the statement said.

Mr. Ban also voiced his appreciation to the Qatari Government and the League of Arab States for their "crucial efforts... in facilitating this agreement."

Today's accord follows recent violence in the capital, Beirut, and elsewhere between pro- and anti-Government militias. Since November last year, when the office became vacant, there have been 18 failed attempts to conduct a parliamentary vote for president.

ENDS

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