BEIRUT: Lebanese leaders have promised to form a new government within two weeks, visiting French president Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday, after talks with political blocs who designated a new prime minister a day earlier.
“What I have asked for, what all political parties without exception have committed to this evening right here, is that the formation of this government will not take more than 15 days,” Macron said in a speech.
Macron said that he expected the government to start delivering on a roadmap of reforms within six to eight weeks.
“There is no blank cheque,” Macron told a news conference in the Lebanese capital.
If reforms, including an audit of the central bank, were not being passed within that deadline, international aid would be withheld, he added.
He said the cabinet would be comprised of “competent personalities” and would be an “independent” entity with the backing of political parties.
Mustapha Adib, who had been Lebanon's ambassador to Berlin since 2013, was named on Monday as the country's second new prime minister since Saad Hariri resigned in the face of mass protests in October.
Adib will now have to form a reform-oriented government in record time in a crisis-hit country where the process usually takes months.
Adib “can only obtain legitimacy by quickly forming a mission government made up of professionals, the strongest possible team,” Macron said.
Meanwhile, Macron said on Tuesday he would travel to Iraq on Wednesday, his first visit to the country, after two days in Lebanon.
French officials have said Paris was concerned by a resurgence in Iraq of Daesh, which is profiting from political uncertainty in the country and rivalries between Iran and the US in the region.
(With AFP and Reuters)