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Pro-Syrian Lebanese PM Invites Opposition to Cabinet

The reinstated pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami suggested on Thursday that he would not form the next Lebanese government unless opposition legislators agree to play a role in his cabinet.
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud on Thursday reappointed pro-Syrian Omar Karami as the country's new prime minister, only 10 days after the opposition forced Karami to resign on Feb. 28 amid massive protests.

"If there is no national unity government and if I am the obstacle, then I am ready to bow out," said Karami during a news conference following his reappointment in Beirut. He added that he hopes to begin talks with opposition legislators next week on the composition of a cabinet.

Lebanese opposition leaders, on the other hand, are now concentrating on ensuring fair spring elections which they hope could bring in a government less aligned with Syria, according to a report on Washington Post website on Thursday.

The opposition leaders seemed to be boycotting a new Karami government, which several of them even doubted would ever be formed, the report said.

(Xinhua News Agency via agencies March 11, 2005)

Pro-Syria PM Set to Return, Seek Unity
Syria, Lebanon Agree on Partial Pullout
US Not to Tolerate Syria's 'Half Measures'
Lebanese Legislators to Choose New PM
Lebanese Gov't Quits amid Pressure, Protests
UN Warns Syria Against Interfering in Lebanon
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