EU Welcomes Lebanon Unity Government | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 12.07.2008
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EU Welcomes Lebanon Unity Government

The European Union has welcomed the formation of a government of national unity in Lebanon. Damascus announced the 30-member lineup on Friday, July 11.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora waving outside Lebanese parliament

The EU pledged ongoing support for Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora

President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora signed the decree into law seven weeks after an accord which saved Lebanon from the brink of civil war.

The agreement made in Doha on May 21 stipulated that 16 cabinet seats should go to the Western-backed parliamentary majority and 11 to the Hezbollah-led opposition.

The opposition gained the coveted posts of foreign minister, telecommunications minister and deputy prime minister, while the ruling bloc kept the finance ministry and the premiership.

The EU's foreign policy envoy Javier Solana said Siniora could continue to rely on the support of the bloc. However, he said some important decisions remained to be taken in the coming weeks.

German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier thanked Siniora for successfully conducting difficult negotiations with the opposition. He also stressed the government now faced considerable challenges, such as the restoration of law and order throughout the country and the implementation of electoral reforms in time for next year's parliamentary elections.

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