Lebanon can’t waste more time on government formation — Aoun

Lebanese President Michel Aoun talks on the eve of the country's 75th independence day at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon November 21, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 22 November 2018
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Lebanon can’t waste more time on government formation — Aoun

  • Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri has hit a wall in his effort to form a national unity government
  • A new government must be in place before Lebanon embarks on major fiscal reform

BEIRUT: Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday the country no longer had the luxury of wasting time as a six-month government formation crisis drags on and economic pressures mount.
More than six months since parliamentary elections, Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri has hit a wall in his effort to form a national unity government as political factions jostle for positions in the new cabinet.
A new government must be in place before Lebanon embarks on major fiscal reform, which the International Monetary Fund said in June is urgently needed to put the country’s debt on a sustainable footing.
“Lebanon today is experiencing a government formation crisis ... Lebanon no longer has the luxury of wasting time,” Aoun said in a televised speech on the eve of the country’s 75th independence day since the French mandate ended in 1943.
Stressing that tackling the economy is a priority, Aoun called on all officials and parties in Lebanon to set aside personal interests and work responsibly for the Lebanese people.


Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

Updated 14 min 57 sec ago
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Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

  • The army freed Gharyan town from Haftar’s forces
  • The town was a key supply route for the LNA militia

CAIRO: Libya’s UN-backed government says it has taken back a strategic town near Tripoli from a Libyan commander whose forces have been fighting for the past three months to capture the country’s capital.
The Tripoli-based government released a statement late on Wednesday, saying their militias have retaken Gharyan and vowing to pursue its liberation campaign until the “aggressors are purged from all areas.”
The self-styled Libyan National Army of commander Khalifa Haftar launched a push on Tripoli in April, claiming it seeks to free the city of radical militias.
Gharyan, about 100 kilometers from Tripoli, was a key supply route for Haftar’s forces.
Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli has been widely criticized. So far, hundreds have been killed, mainly combatants but also civilians, and thousands have been displaced.