Report: ‘Cautious Optimism’ on Cabinet Formation as Talks Gather Momentum

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The latest drive of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to line-up Lebanon’s Cabinet has raised the level of optimism on its imminent formation shall the latest contacts succeed at solving the Christian and Druze obstacles, media reports said on Saturday.

Contacts on the formation of a new government led to a new round of discussions where political forces joined efforts to reach a formula that would end the stalemate, Saudi Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.

Hopes are high that Speaker Nabih Berri will play a key role in easing the Druze obstacle by communicating with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat.

Meanwhile, Hariri is considering a new formula with the Lebanese Forces party to resolve the Christian representation complex, it added.

After a “constructive” meeting between Hariri and head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, following Hariri-Berri meeting on Thursday, the Premier is expected to hold talks with the PSP and LF in order to complete a new draft of the government to propose to President Michel Aoun.

Sources following up on the latest momentum, told the daily: “The current stage is a stage of discussion in order to facilitate the formation,” as they pinned high hopes on Hariri’s upcoming meeting with the PSP and LF.

The reports come in the wake of a long-anticipated meeting between Bassil and Hariri that was held on Thursday.

The LF's share and that of the Progressive Socialist Party are reportedly the two main obstacles that are delaying the formation of the new government.

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