Newly elected Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has appealed for national unity after 18 months of political infighting among Lebanon's rival factions.
Lebanon's parliament elected Mr. Suleiman president on Sunday as part of an Arab-brokered agreement to defuse the crisis, which this month escalated into deadly battles across Lebanon. In a speech after his swearing-in, Mr. Suleiman praised the role of Hezbollah militants backed by Iran and Syria in fighting Israel. He also called for better relations with Syria, which occupied Lebanon for 29 years until 2005.
Mr. Suleiman said he supports the creation of a United Nations tribunal to investigate the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. U.N. investigators have implicated Syria in the killing, but Damascus denies involvement. Mr. Suleiman also urged Lebanese factions to discuss a joint defense strategy for the country. Pro-Western parties want Hezbollah to disband its militia, a demand the group rejects.