'Serious Discussions' to 'Improve' Hariri's Draft Line-Up

There are “serious discussions” to “improve and revise” the draft Cabinet line-up that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri presented to President Michel Aoun on Monday, media reports said.

“After Hariri's last visit to Baabda and his meeting with President Aoun, consultations away from the media spotlight did not stop, especially between Baabda and the Center House, through near-daily phone talks between Aoun and Hariri and through the envoys Ghattas Khoury and Elias Bou Saab,” a ministerial source told Kuwait's al-Anbaa daily in remarks published Sunday.

The atmosphere between Aoun and Hariri and also with Speaker Nabih Berri is “good,” the source added, revealing that “there are serious discussions to introduce improvements and amendments to the provisional (Cabinet) format.”

“The president kept it with him and did not reject it but rather expressed direct reservations over it. When we reach a format that respects the standards on which Aoun and Hariri agreed during their first meeting after the premier's designation, the decree forming the new government will not be delayed for a single moment,” the source said.

The source also clarified that Minister Ghattas Khoury's recent meeting with Aoun was part of the “positive atmosphere.”

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