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    The new Prime Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Rashid Karami, went before the country's single house?

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    The new Prime Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Rashid Karami, went before the country's single house Parliament on Tuesday (15 July) to ask for a vote of confidence in his Government. He outline the new government's policy and re-affirmed Lebanon's support for the Palestinian cause.

    Mr. Karami promised that his six-man cabinet, which was formed on 1 July, would modernise the armed forces, press on with a bill for military conscription, and introduce legislation to grant Lebanese nationality to those "entitled to it".

    He referred to recent factional fighting between the mainly Christian right-wing falangists and left-wing groups of Moslems and Palestinian commandos. In the past three months, fractional violence in the country has left at least eight hundred people dead, and about two thousand injured. It has also dented Lebanon's reputation for political stability -- a matter of no small importance to a country claiming to be the banking centre of the middle East.

    Prime Minister Karami also told Parliament that the Government would strive to mend the economic damage done to the country by the recent fighting. It has been estimated in millions of pounds sterling.

    He said that Lebanon was part of the Arab world "sharing with its Arab brothers their good and bad times". International policy would continue and Lebanon was willing to co-operate with the whole world.

    Mr. Karami also said that special attention would be given to the armed forces particularly the army, to ensure the various communities in the country were fairly represented.

    He wound up the debate by urging that a lesson be drawn from the recent violence.It has become clear" he said, "that the gun cannot resolve a dispute between members of one family. Force, however big, remains smaller than opinion, argument, logic and reason".

    The confidence motion was voted for by 82 of the 99 deputies -- the remaining 17 Deputies were absent.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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