Lebanese prez vows to end govt impasse
beirut — Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Saturday that a solution would be found to a political row that has blocked the formation of a new national unity government for more than six months since a general election in May.
The country is in dire need of a government able to implement economic reforms that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says are necessary. The last sticking point surrounds Sunni Muslim representation in the country’s cabinet where the 30 seats must be allocated along sectarian lines.
The iran backed Hezbollah group says one of its Sunni allies must be represented in the government to reflect the gains they made in the election.
But Prime Minister-designate Saad Al Hariri has ruled out allocating any of his cabinet seats to them. The Hezbollah-allied Sunnis are also known for their close ties to the Syrian government of President Bashar Al Assad. “The matter requires bravery and patience to reach the end, but we will find the solution because waiting is a waste of time,” a statement from the presidency cited Aoun as saying in a meeting with the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
A statement from Hezbollah said on Saturday the group’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, had
met Aoun’s son-in-law and close advisor Gebran Bassil to discuss the formation of a government and efforts “to resolve the complications”. Bassil heads the Free Patriotic Movement, the party established by Aoun.
Druze leader Walid Jumblatt on Friday voiced fears for Lebanon’s currency if the deadlock continues. —
Michel Aoun. — AFP