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Lebanon Government Crisis Strains Aoun-Hezbollah Ties

Lebanon Government Crisis Strains Aoun-Hezbollah Ties

Friday, 2 November, 2018 - 08:00
President Michel Aoun speaking to journalists on Wednesday night/NNA
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat

Obstacles hindering the formation of the new government have become a source of dispute between “Hezbollah” and President Michel Aoun, who said on Wednesday night that the independent Sunni deputies demanding a cabinet seat “do not form a bloc."

Through his announcement, Aoun indirectly backed the stance of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, who has refused to sign a decree forming the government if it includes a Sunni representative from the March 8 (Hezbollah’s allies) coalition.

Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat Thursday that there have been ongoing efforts to remove the “Sunni obstacle.”

However, the sources said there was still no direct contact between Hezbollah and Aoun following his announcement on the independent Sunni deputies’ representation.

"These are individuals who have recently come together to formulate claims. How would they be represented in the government when they each have a different political affiliation,” Aoun said when asked by journalists about the issue.

Hezbollah did not comment on the president’s position.

“Things would remain complicated if Hezbollah has decided to make things worse. But, if the party wants to facilitate the government formation, it will easily find a way out,” the sources said.

Amid the ongoing cabinet crisis, Hariri traveled to Paris on Thursday, his press office said, without offering any details about the latest developments on the government formation process.

Hariri has been for months trying to come up with a lineup but political parties have been locked in dispute over the makeup of the future government.

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