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More Obstacles to Formation Of New Lebanon Government

As conflict continues to rage next door in Syria, Lebanon’s polarized political scene must face several challenges before it can build a government that satisfies past agreements.
Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman (C) meets with members of "March 14" coalition at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, June 18, 2013. Lebanon's main Sunni Muslim political party pleaded with the presidency on Tuesday to prevent "state collapse", blaming the Shi'ite Hezbollah group for dragging the country into the war in neighbouring Syria. REUTERS/Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

The Baabda Declaration was issued at the end of a national dialogue session held at the Presidential Palace on June 11, 2012, and involving all Lebanese parties. The most important of its 17 articles provide for committing to a security, political and media truce, working on consolidating stability and civil peace, preventing the country from sliding into strife, adhering to the Taif Agreement and keeping Lebanon far removed from regional and international conflicts to avoid the negative repercussions of them. An exception is the Palestinian cause, including the Palestinian refugees’ right of return. The declaration has provoked disagreement between the March 8 and March 14 alliances. 

The March 14 faction has been calling on Hezbollah and its allies in the March 8 coalition to commit to the Baabda Declaration. They have demanded since June 2012 that the declaration form the basis of the ministerial (policy) statement of any government formed by Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, and they flatly reject the triad of “the army, the people and the resistance,” an axiom of Hezbollah, as part of any such statement.

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