Barak expresses cautious optimism over Lebanese election results

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday afternoon expressed cautious optimism over the victory for the Western-backed coalition in Sunday's Lebanese elections. "It is certainly a positive sign, but the real test of the government that is formed will be the results - mainly its ability to enforce order and to stifle Hizbullah activity and its deepening presence and military capabilities in south Lebanon and the rest of the country," Barak said at a Labor faction meeting. "Israel is continuing to monitor developments there and will determine its relations with the new Lebanese government on the basis of these results."