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Lebanese PM Unveils New Government


Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud, right, meets Prime Minister-designate Fuad Saniora at the presidential palace in Baabda
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Fouad Siniora has formed Beirut's first government free of Syrian dominance in nearly three decades.

The 24-member cabinet includes for the first time a member of the Shi'ite militia Hezbollah, which Washington has labeled a terrorist organization. It excludes former army commander and prominent Christian politician Michel Aoun.

Pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud approved the government Tuesday, capping five months of political turmoil sparked by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Within days of the February 14 assassination, massive Lebanese protests forced the pro-Syrian government to resign and triggered new elections that brought Mr. Siniora to power.

The cabinet announcement ends nearly three weeks of political negotiations over key government posts. During that time, President Lahoud demanded several changes in the prime minister's cabinet lineup.

Some inforamtion for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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