Report: Lebanon Forms Govt. amid U.S. Concerns with Hizbullah’s Ministry Pick

Lebanon’s newly formed government is going to be placed under “daily international observation,” amid “U.S. concerns” of the allocation of ministerial portfolios for Hizbullah which the U.S. regards as “terrorist organization,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

The United States was “concerned” that Hizbullah, which Washington regards as a "terrorist organization," would take over ministerial portfolios in the new Lebanese government, especially the Health Ministry, the daily quoted a U.S. State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to information obtained by the daily, the new government is going to be subject to “mainly American and European monitoring, with special emphasis on major and sensitive ministries.”

Moreover, in remarks the U.S. official made to the U.S. funded al-Hurra television channel, he hailed the Lebanese officials for overcoming obstacles that hampered the cabinet formation.

Nevertheless, he added that “the United States will work to ensure that U.S. aid do not go to support Hizbullah,” as he welcomed a Lebanese government under Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The United States, which has expanded sanctions on Hizbullah, has earlier threatened to cut U.S. aid to ministries run by Hizbullah.

On Thursday, Lebanon announced a government line-up, ending an eight-month wait that had heightened fears of a major economic collapse.

Hizbullah took three portfolios, including the health ministry.

Source: Naharnet

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