Report: Govt. Formation Talks Didn’t Stop Despite Preoccupation with Summit


Despite the political controversy accompanying Beirut’s Arab Economic and Development Summit and the preoccupation with preparations for the meeting in Bkirki, contacts to resolve the government formation impasse “did not stop,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.

“Regardless of the preparations for the summit in Beirut and the problems that accompanied it, contacts on the government formation did not stop,” caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil told the daily.

Bassil said we “insist to form the government,” pointing to “some proposals made by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri that preserve our right for representation and at the same time garners approval of all” parties.

Noting Hariri’s ongoing efforts to end the impasse, he said “I am helping him,” adding “as for Hizbullah, it is demanding that the opposition Sunni group be represented which is their right. But, there is a problem with the form they were supposed to address but did not.”

Bassil stressed “we are working on a fair solution, but the requirement to choose one of the six Sunni deputies will never be achieved.”

We are looking for “an alternative to Jawad Adra,” he added.

The representation of pro-Hizbullah Sunni MPs of the Consultative Gathering is the latest obstacle hampering the formation after several hurdles related to the Christian and Druze representation were eased.

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