Hariri Says He's Not 'Crazy' to Step Down

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has reiterated that he will not back down from the mission of forming a new government.

“Am I crazy to offer them the gift of stepping down?” Hariri told one of al-Mustaqbal's caretaker ministers during the Movement's high-level meeting on Tuesday, al-Akhbar daily reported Wednesday.

“The participants in the meeting understood that Hariri was awaiting an answer from the president within 48 hours (from the date of their Monday meeting), after which the Presidency is supposed to inform him of a date for a meeting with Aoun,” the newspaper said.

During the meeting, the president will voice “fundamental remarks” over the “provisional format” for the distribution of ministerial portfolios that Hariri had presented to him on Monday, al-Akhbar added.

Hariri on Tuesday defended the draft line-up as “convincing,” after Aoun's Strong Lebanon bloc criticized the format and warned of an attempt to "bypass the results of the parliamentary elections."

The Presidency said Monday that Aoun voiced reservations over the line-up based on “the standards which he had announced and are necessary to achieve the country's interest.”

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