Hariri Says Each Party to Get 'Right Share', Denies Rift with Aoun

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri reassured Thursday that the cabinet formation process is “inching closer to a solution” and that “every party will get the right share.”

“We will soon reach a solution regarding the government and I'm still optimistic. All parties want the government to be formed. There are things that we haven't managed to resolve but we are inching closer to a solution and every party will get the right share,” Hariri said after pre-scheduled talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.

He also denied reports that a 24-minister Cabinet is being mulled as a possible solution.

As for his relation with Aoun, Hariri noted that “the Constitution is clear regarding government formation as well as the powers of the prime minister.”

“President Aoun and I are in agreement on all minor and major issues,” Hariri emphasized, dismissing recent media reports.

“The settlement with President Aoun is still ongoing and I will do everything needed to protect it for the sake of the country. Whoever tries to manipulate this settlement will be in a confrontation with the president and the premier-designate,” Hariri warned.

He added: “The country is witnessing a good security situation and we must preserve it.”

Near-simultaneous statements issued by the Presidency's press office and Hariri's al-Mustaqbal bloc on Tuesday had sparked speculation about a possible rift between the two leaders, who have enjoyed good ties since the so-called presidential settlement was reached.

Aoun had reportedly rejected a Cabinet line-up format submitted Friday by Hariri.

The three obstacles hindering the final line-up are the share that should be allocated to the Lebanese Forces and the representation of MP Talal Arslan and the so-called Sunni opposition.

Hariri was tasked with forming the new government on May 24.

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