Naharnet

Aoun Warns Timeframe for Forming Govt. 'Not Open-Ended'

President Michel Aoun has warned that the timeframe for forming the new government is "not open-ended," hinting that he might take action in early September.

"The timeframe is not open-ended and no one has the right to take the whole country hostage or to paralyze it," al-Akhbar daily quoted Aoun as saying in remarks published Tuesday.

"I will only wait until the first of September. After that we will talk. Yes, we will talk," the president added.

Al-Akhbar noted that Aoun wants the government to be formed before his travel to New York in the second half of September to attend the works of the U.N. General Assembly.

Turning to the controversy over the Lebanese-Syrian relations, Aoun said "rushing the debate over such files" is aimed at "obstructing the formation process and imposing preconditions."

PM-designate Saad Hariri was tasked with forming a new government on May 24. His mission is being hampered by political wrangling over shares, especially over Christian and Druze representation. Some parties such as Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement have suggested that foreign countries, especially Saudi Arabia, are behind the ongoing delay.

Hariri has told reporters that the new government “will not be formed” should the pro-Damascus camp “insist on restoring Lebanese-Syrian ties.” But pro-Hizbullah journalist Salem Zahran said that the PM-designate has “informed Hizbullah” that his remarks were a “slip of the tongue.”


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