A UN-backed international tribunal examining the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri threatens a fragile stability in Lebanon, where the government of Hariri's son recently fell over disputes about the tribunal's role.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant Shiite group, Hezbollah, called on Sunday for the creation of a national unity government to usher Lebanon out of a political crisis.
Talks in Lebanon to form a new cabinet are set to begin Monday. Hezbollah pulled support from the government over opposition to a tribunal investigating the 2005 Rafik Hariri assassination.
The Western-backed March 14 coalition won an unexpectedly large parliamentary majority – 71 of 128 seats – over the opposition, led by the Iranian-backed militant group.
A win for Hezbollah and its allies Sunday would tip the region’s balance of power toward Iran.
Two weeks before crucial June elections, rival camps have refused to react to allegations that Hezbollah was behind the polarizing Hariri assassination in 2005.
Fights between Sunnis and Alawites highlight challenges facing a sectarian-reconciliation deal signed this week.
Opposition Hezbollah fighters continue civil disobedience against pro-Western government.
The success of the Shiite group's offensive casts doubt over government's ability to survive.