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Lebanon: Possible Government Formation by the End of the Week

Lebanon: Possible Government Formation by the End of the Week

Friday, 3 January, 2020 - 09:30
President Michel Aoun met Thursday with French ambassador Bruno Foucher and discussed with him the current situation in Lebanon and the ongoing contacts to form a new government (NNA)

Several sources confirmed on Thursday the obstacles on the Sunni and Druze representation in the new Lebanese government have been removed as talks are expected to continue on Friday to resolve the problem on the Christian figures who would get the foreign and energy ministry portfolios.

All parties have agreed that the new cabinet should not include members of the outgoing government based on the request of Prime Minister designate Hassan Diab.

Informed sources predicted the announcement of the new cabinet by the end of the week if an agreement is reached between Diab and caretaker Foreign Minister and the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, on the names of ministers to assume the portfolios of energy and foreign affairs.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Druze obstacle has been resolved. Druze parties have refused to be represented by only one minister.

Diab was also able to choose former Judge Fawzi Adham for the Interior Ministry after facing difficulties in finding a Sunni figure who accepts to assume the post.

The Central News Agency quoted sources on Thursday as saying that “one Christian figure, concerned by the cabinet formation talks, is rejecting all names suggested by Diab to assume ministries headed by Christian and even some non-Christian figures.”

However, the sources added that Diab rejected such behaviors and insisted that all parties stick to the norms based on which he appointed the Druze and Sunni ministers.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said in a statement that leaked news about the new government lineup are not reassuring, especially that the political parties responsible for the current crisis are behind the nomination of ministers.

"Everything that has been leaked by the media on the upcoming government is not reassuring, neither in terms of the interference of the political parties that caused the current crisis in the country, nor in terms of the distribution of portfolios among them," he said.

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