Lebanon’s Hariri gives new cabinet details to president

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri said, “I delivered this formula to the president...We held discussions and we will continue them and we’ll see.” (Reuters)
Updated 03 September 2018
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Lebanon’s Hariri gives new cabinet details to president

  • Key parties have jostled over ministries since a legislative vote in May
  • The last government has continued as a caretaker administration since that election

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Prime Minister designate Saad Al-Hariri on Monday handed President Michel Aoun the “formula” for a new cabinet after nearly four months of political impasse.
Key parties have jostled over ministries since a legislative vote in May, as officials and foreign donors warned that a delay would aggravate the country’s economic troubles.
Lebanon, which is used to lengthy cabinet negotiations, has one of the world’s highest rates of public debt.
The last government has continued as a caretaker administration since that election, which produced a parliament tilted in favor of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah movement.
“I delivered this formula to the president...We held discussions and we will continue them and we’ll see,” Hariri said on Monday after meeting Aoun at the Baabda palace.
The next government, like the last one, is expected to include most major parties within the sectarian power-sharing system.
The IMF wants to see immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment to improve the sustainability of Lebanon’s public debt, which stood at over 150 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2017.
A Paris donors conference in April yielded pledges of billions, conditional on reform. Lebanese politicians have warned of economic crisis.
The new government will also have to address relations with neighboring Syria, where President Bashar Assad has recovered in the war. His Lebanese allies, led by the heavily armed Hezbollah, want full ties restored.


Libya seeks UN help as militia fighting kills 10

Updated 23 September 2018
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Libya seeks UN help as militia fighting kills 10

  • Libya’s internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt the fighting.

BENGHAZI: The latest bout of fighting between rival militias in the capital Tripoli has left 10 people dead.

The medical authorities said 59 people were also wounded when fighting erupted the previous day, taking the death toll to 106 since armed conflict first began there late last month. Friday’s fighting further strained a cease-fire that has been in force since Sept. 4. They said a total of 18 people remain missing.

Libya’s internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt the fighting. The Government of National Accord (GNA) called on the UN mission to “present the Security Council with the reality of the bloody events in Libya so that it can ... protect the lives and property of civilians”.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. It’s governed by rival authorities, based in Tripoli and the country’s east, each backed by an array of militias.