US puts best face on Lebanon deal that boosts Hizbullah

The top US diplomat for the Middle East said a deal among feuding factions in Lebanon was a welcome development, although the agreement gave the Hizbullah group more power. The Bush administration seemed Wednesday to try to put the best face on the deal that ends Lebanon's 18-month political stalemate, but also gives the Iran- and Syria-backed Hizbullah veto power over any government decision. At the State Department, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch called the agreement "a necessary and positive step."