The stiff curfews which have been in force in the Lebanon during recent fighting between the Lebanese army and Palestinian commandos were relaxed on Friday (10 May).
The stiff curfews which have been in force in the Lebanon during recent fighting between the Lebanese army and Palestinian commandos were relaxed on Friday (10 May). Papers displayed prominently the news that a secret peace agreement had been negotiated between Lebanese authorities and the Palestinian commands.
Negotiators from both sides announced the agreement on Thursday (17 May). It's designed to prevent new fighting between Lebanese troops and commands -- fighting that has left hundreds of dead and wounded during last month's two-week trial of strength.
The measures set out in the agreement are not expected to be made public. The Lebanese press has hailed the agreement with relief and jubilation, but warned that everything would now depend on the way in which the so-called "co-existence pact" is implemented.
On Friday, the strict curfew was lifted from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., the longest period since the beginning of the conflict between the Palestinians and the government.
And a new sign of detente was heralded by Parliamentary Speaker Kamel al Assad's announcement that a new Lebanese cabinet would be announced within a week.
There was no announcement on the composition of the committee that is to be set up to supervise the agreement.
SYNOPSIS: Streets and stores in the centre of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, were crowded with people on Friday. It was the first day of a relaxed curfew and relieved tension following agreement between the government and the Palestinian commands which ended a bloody two week crisis.
French and Arabic newspapers carried front-page accounts of the agreement, reached after two days of deliberations by a joint peace-keeping committee.
The newspapers hailed the agreement with relief, but warned that everything would depend on the way in which it was implemented.
Details of the measures to be taken under the agreement were not made public.
There has been no indication of the nature of the committee that is to supervise the new agreement.