Accessibility links

Lebanon's Pro-Syrian President Consults on New Government

Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud is holding talks with parliamentary deputies to form a new government, following last week's resignation of Prime Minister Omar Karameh's cabinet in the face of growing anti-Syria protests.

Mr. Lahoud began consultations Wednesday, while Syrian troops continued to redeploy in eastern Lebanon, in the first stage of a withdrawal from the country.

On Tuesday, Lebanon's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, said the troop pullout would be complete long before May, when Lebanon holds its parliamentary elections.

President Bush has demanded that Syria get all of its troops and intelligence personnel out of Lebanon before the vote.

Also on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets of Beirut to show support for Syria. The protest, called by the Syrian-backed Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah, dwarfed recent anti-Syrian demonstrations.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.