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Suddenly the statesman, Hezbollah's Nasrallah calls for Lebanon unity government

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.

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A flower vendor listens to the speech of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah who said the Shiite militant group want to form a national unity government for Lebanon, Sunday.

Mohammed Zaatari/AP

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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 that threatens to deteriorate into sectarian violence.

“We [in the opposition] will request that the [new prime minister], yet to be named, forms a cabinet in which everyone participates,” Mr. Nasrallah said in a live televised address. “We are not calling for a cabinet that excludes any party in Lebanon.”

Nasrallah admitted in his address that his Hezbollah-led opposition bloc deliberately toppled Lebanon's government two weeks ago with a massive pullout in order to stall pending international indictments of Hezbollah leaders for the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. And his comments come on the eve of a parliamentary vote that could result in the formation of a new government dominated by Hezbollah and its political allies.

Such a development would greatly complicate Lebanon’s relations with the international community, particularly over the fate of the Hariri tribunal. And Hezbollah's opponents are crying foul.

A 'coup' by Hezbollah

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