Jumblat Meets Miqati, Denies Govt. 'One-sided, Imposed by Outside Forces'

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Wednesday described the new government as a “broad national coalition,” stressing that “it was not imposed by outside forces as some have claimed” and that it is not “one-sided.”

Following talks with Prime Minister Najib Miqati in Beirut’s Verdun district, Jumblat added: “The atmospheres are excellent despite the delay in forming the cabinet … Each of us has made sacrifices, each in his own way.”

Jumblat also thanked Miqati for “his patience and efforts” and lauded Speaker Nabih Berri’s “central and essential role.”

Asked whether he rejected to describe the new cabinet as “Syria’s government,” the Druze leader said: “The government is diverse and contains all democratic opinions, and others must accept power rotation.”

“As to what happened with (Lebanese Democratic Party leader) Prince Talal Arslan, I say maybe it was a misunderstanding,” Jumblat added, describing Arslan’s verbal attack against Miqati as “inappropriate.”

Shortly after the long-awaited line-up of Miqati’s cabinet was announced on Monday, Arslan resigned from his post as state minister, lashing out at the premier and describing him as a “liar.”

“In line with my convictions, I announce before the Lebanese people my resignation from the government of the so-called Najib Miqati whom I am not honored to be seated next to,” said Arslan, who was hoping to get a key portfolio in the new cabinet.

For his part, Miqati said he was “surprised by the remarks of Prince Talal, the heir of a major political dynasty.”

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