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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deadlock Over Hezbollah Leaves Lebanon in Crisis

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Lebanon was thrown into a political crisis Saturday when talks broke down over giving the militant faction Hezbollah and its political allies greater control of the government. Almost immediately, Cabinet ministers from the group and the other main Shiite party resigned.

Lebanon's political leaders have held talks for four days, trying to defuse tensions among the various government factions after Hezbollah demanded a greater role in the Cabinet and called for its alliance to have veto power over all government decisions. Hezbollah was politically emboldened after its 34-day war with Israel this summer, and it quickly pressed for more power.

Though for days it appeared the talks were headed toward a compromise, the negotiations collapsed when Hezbollah refused to relinquish its demand for a veto, people in the talks said. When the governing coalition refused, the talks collapsed, and within three hours the political brinksmanship began with all of the Shiite ministers resigning.

Under the accord that ended the civil war, the 1989 Taif Agreement, the government must include members from all the country's main sects. With the departure of the Shiites, it now becomes an interim government with the authority only to handle day-to-day management of the country.