Report: Govt Negotiations Grew at Night after Hariri’s Initiative
Contacts between Lebanon’s political parties on the government formation stalemate reportedly “intensified” Tuesday night after ex-PM Saad Hariri proposed an initiative aimed at finding a solution to the deadlock over the finance ministerial portfolio, al-Liwaa newspaper reported Wednesday.
Hariri suggested to help PM-designate Mustafa Adib name a Shiite finance minister after the insistence of Amal Movement and Hizbullah to retain the portfolio.
The daily said negotiations gained momentum at night yesterday “to put the final touches on the cabinet lineup.”
It said in the event that a final form of Lebanon’s crisis government was drafted, Adib will likely “visit President Michel Aoun this afternoon in Baabda to present the cabinet format, amid a French and European urgency.”
Hariri said in a written statement Tuesday that he “decided to help Adib find an exit through naming an independent finance minister from the Shiite sect who would be chosen by him, similarly to the rest of ministers, on the basis of competency, integrity and non-partisanship.”
The French foreign ministry on Tuesday had urged competing political forces in Lebanon to agree on forming a government "without delay" as it ramped up pressure for a new cabinet in the crisis-hit country.
Adib has been unable to form a new cabinet, which is required to unlock billions of dollars in foreign aid, because of disagreements between political parties.
Adib's efforts have been effectively blocked by the two main Shiite groups in Lebanon's usual power-sharing arrangement -- Amal and Hizbullah.