Hezbollah, Amal Sign Peace Agreement
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) _ Leaders of the Amal and Hezbollah militias signed a peace agreement Monday night that will allow the Lebanese army to assume order in Shiite Moslem areas of Lebanon.
The peace agreement was signed at the end of a 10-hour meeting with Syrian and Iranian officials by Nabi Berri, the leader of Amal, and Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheik Subhi al-Tufeili.
The Syrian-backed Amal, which means Hope in Arabic, and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, or Party of God, have fought intermittently since June 1987 vying for control of Lebanon’s 1.2 million Shiite Moslems. By police count, 1,100 people have been killed and 3,222 wounded in the fighting.
They are among the major militias that Lebanese President Elias Hrawi’s government is trying to disarm to implement a peace plan to end 15 years of civil war.
Present for the signing of the agreement were Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Velayati.
The agreement, which becomes effective Nov. 10, stipulates that:
-The two groups will eliminate all obstacles in the way of the deployment of the Lebanese army in southern Lebanon ″in light of the improvemnt of the army capacities to maintain law and order.″
-In the event of disputes, ″the two parties are committed to the interpretation provided by representatives of Syria and Iran.″
-All people displaced as a result of the fighting between the two parties will return to their areas’ villages and homes.
Later, Sharaa and Velayati held a joint news conference in which they expressed confidence that the dispute between Amal and Hezbollah is over.
″It is defititely settled,″ said Velayati.
″We are sure that two sides will fully implement this agreement, and we are committed to provide the Lebanese army with any support it might need,″ said al-Sharaa.