Lebanon forms government after year-long stalemate

Beirut, Sep 10 (EFE).- A new government led by Prime Minister Najib Mikati has been confirmed in Lebanon after over a year of uncertainty as a political deadlock blocked any progress in the midst of a deep financial crisis.

“The government will focus on the interests of Lebanon and we are willing to cooperate with anyone, except Israel, for the interests of the nation,” said Mikati at the Presidential Palace, shortly after signing a decree with President of the Republic Michel Aoun, to formalise the new administration.

In a televised speech, Mikati, who was Prime Minister in 2005 and from 2011 to 2014, promised to work to “stop the collapse” and return “prosperity” to the country.

He managed to land an agreement with Aoun and the myriad of Lebanese political parties to designate a cabinet of 24 members, only one of whom is a woman.

Some key positions in government to address the country’s financial crisis and international pressure to reform the economy will be filled by Abdullah Abu Habib, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bassam Mawlawi, Internal Affairs, and Youssef Khalil, in Finance.

Walid Fayyad will take on the Ministry of Energy and Water, as the country suffers from a severe lack of electricity, fuel, and drinking water, while Firass Abiad, minister of Public Health, will be in charge of addressing shortages in medicines and other medical supplies. EFE


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