Lebanon: No progress in forming new government, says Saad Al Hariri

Cairo: There is no progress in forming a new government of technocrats in Lebanon, premier-designate Saad Al Hariri said Friday.

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International donors have made support for Lebanon, in the grip of an acute economic crisis, hinge on the formation of a new government capable of introducing badly needed reforms.

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“My stance will not change on forming a government of 18 ministers, who must be all technocrats,” Hariri added following a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

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In October, Al Hariri was designated for forming a new government that has been since in the throes of birth due to political rivalries.

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Hariri earlier this week visited France where he met President Emmanuel Macron, who is leading international efforts to help ease Lebanon’s hardships.

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“During my visit to France, I felt enthusiasm for forming the Lebanese government,” Al Hariri said. “The problem lies in forming a government of technocrats who are not linked to political parties. Without it, no reform mission can be carried out,” he added.

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In turmoil

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“Whoever believes that including political members in this government, will make the international community open to us or give us what we want, is wrong,” he said.

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Lebanon has been in turmoil since last August when a deadly explosion hit the Beirut port and destroyed large parts of the city.

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Macron visited Lebanon twice after the August blast.

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Lebanon is suffering from its worst economic problem in decades, taking a toll on its health sector amid an outbreak of COVID-19.

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