Lebanon: Suleiman takes presidential office, plans Arab tour
Military bands and an honor guard have greeted President Michel Suleiman on his first day at work in Lebanon's presidential palace. According to the AP, army cannons fired 21 shots to salute Suleiman, who on Monday started the task of uniting a wounded nation and reconciling its rival political leaders.
Dozens of staffers applauded as the newly elected leader walked down a red carpet at the gate of the palace in Beirut's eastern suburb of Baabda.
Suleiman's election was hailed by world leaders and his inauguration speech drew domestic praise. The new president spent the night at his home in suburban Fayadiyeh.
Suleiman's first official engagement as Lebanon's president will be a tour of Arab nations that will take him to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt and UAE, local newspapers reported. This will take place as soon as he is done with the government formation process and once the Cabinet gets a vote of confidence. According to Naharnet, after Suleiman was sworn in, the government of Prime Minister Fouad Saniora resigned in line with the constitution but will stay on in a caretaker role.
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