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Lebanon: Berri Calls for National Unity Government

Lebanon: Berri Calls for National Unity Government

Thursday, 9 January, 2020 - 08:00
Speaker Nabih Berri in his weekly meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday. NNA

Recent regional developments reflected on the situation in Lebanon, specifically on the formation of the new government.

Speaker Nabih Berri underlined on Wednesday the need to form a unity government that brings together all political parties.


His remarks changed prospects for a swift cabinet formation, as the last obstacle was the result of a disagreement between designated Prime Minister Hassan Diab and caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil on the foreign ministry portfolio.


However, in light of current regional developments, observers believe that the previous agreement on the form of the government was no longer viable.


Following Berri’s weekly meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday, MP Ali Bazzi quoted the Speaker as saying that “the caretaker government is supposed to exercise its full powers.”

“This did not happen despite the dangerous conditions that the country is going through.”


He stressed that the current stage required a government of national reunification, based on a vision that “addresses Lebanon’s concerns and prioritizes its interests.”


Commenting on Berri’s remarks, sources close to President Michel Aoun said: “The Speaker’s remarks are important, and cannot be ignored. They may change the course of forming the government,” noting a possibility of expanding the cabinet to include technocrats and politicians.


Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Berri contacted caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and encouraged him to return to Lebanon.

Hariri would likely attend the upcoming parliamentary session set for the end of this month to adopt the 2020 budget law, they said.

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