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Lebanese Leaders Resume National Political Dialogue


Lebanese leaders have resumed a national dialogue aimed at finding common ground on divisive issues facing the country.

Political and religious leaders met Wednesday after a break of more than a week. They are trying to resolve two main issues, the future of pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud and the disarming of Lebanon's pro-Syrian Hezbollah militia.

President Lahoud, who is not at the talks, said last week that he would not resign as demanded by anti-Syrian lawmakers. He also said Hezbollah militia should not disarm.

The talks are the first of their kind in Lebanon since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war and the withdrawal of Syrian troops late last year.

Syria pulled out of Lebanon under intense international pressure sparked by the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The Lebanese roundtable sessions began earlier this month with 14 groups, including Christians and Muslims, both pro- and anti-Syrian, meeting in Beirut's parliament building.

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