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.


Iran claims it has dismantled a US cyber espionage network

Updated 14 min 55 sec ago
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Iran claims it has dismantled a US cyber espionage network

LONDON: A senior Iranian security official said Monday Tehran had recently exposed and dismantled a “large US cyber espionage network."
The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster IRIB that several CIA agents were arrested after Tehran shared intelligence with its allies.
Iran has repeatedly been accused of cyber espionage and running fake social media accounts to harm its enemies and promote its own propaganda.

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