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State Dept on Hezbollah's Lebanon Deal: "A necessary and positive step."

From AP (via Fox).  Read it and weep:

Lebanese Rivals Reach Agreement Seen as Major Triumph for Hezbollah

Lebanon's feuding factions reached a breakthrough deal Wednesday that ends the country's long political stalemate, but also gives the militant Hezbollah group and allies the key power they sought — a veto over any decision of the U.S.-backed government.

The deal, reached with the help of Arab mediators, was immediately praised by Hezbollah's backers Iran and Syria. But it seems certain to accelerate fears in the West over Hezbollah's new power....

The Hezbollah-led opposition won both its demands with the deal: veto power in a new national unity government, and an electoral law that divides the country into smaller districts with the aim of better representation of the various sects....

The Bush administration seemed to try to put the best face on the deal even though it gave more power to Hezbollah, considered a terrorist group by Washington and Israel. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch called the agreement "a necessary and positive step."

A few bursts of celebratory gunfire broke out in Beirut after the announcement. Television stations, which broadcast the Qatar ceremony live, showed Lebanese politicians and their Arab hosts congratulating and hugging one another. The mood in Beirut's streets was jubilant, with Lebanese, tired of the protracted deadlock, greeting each other with "Mabrouk," or "Congratulations" in Arabic.


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