Following the mediation efforts of a high-ranking Arab League delegation, the parties to the conflict in Lebanon have reached an agreement which includes the withdrawal of militias, the removal of road blocks and the opening of Beirut airport. This agreement is intended to end the violence in Lebanon and to make possible once more a dialogue between Government and Opposition. The first round of talks are scheduled to begin in Qatar tomorrow. Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a statement welcoming this agreement in St Petersburg today (15 May):
"I am very relieved that the situation in Lebanon seems set to calm down. The agreement reached today is a first key step towards enabling the army and police to restore public security in the country.
I would like to thank and commend the Arab League delegation headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani whose mediation efforts paved the way for today's agreement.
Now all sides are called upon to use the talks beginning in Doha tomorrow to create a basis on which the political paralysis in Lebanon can finally be ended!"