Report: Arab Assistance for Lebanon ‘Blocked’ under New Govt.

Naming of Lebanon’s new PM-designate Hassan Diab did not receive Arab and Gulf consent who consider Diab “affiliated” to the March 8 camp, “endorsed” by Hizbullah and “close” to Syrian President Bashar Asaad, Nidaa al-Watan daily reported on Saturday.

Arab diplomatic sources told the daily on condition of anonymity that there was “no Arab approval of Diab” and that his designation will reflect on the form of the new government “especially after reports that he visited Damascus and met with officials of the Syrian regime.”

Arab states were “willing and ready” to provide economic assistance for Lebanon, said the sources, but the Gulf Cooperation Council’s assistance “was excluded after revelations that the formation process is completely politicized and one-sided.”

The sources noted that Arab countries are watching the position of Dar al-Fatwa, the highest Sunni authority in Lebanon, which has not so far given its "blessing" for the designation of Diab.

Diab was named earlier in December replacing outgoing premier Saad Hariri after nearly two months of intense political wrangling.

But while his appointment was backed by Hizbullah-allied parliamentary blocs, he did not win the backing of parties from his own Sunni community.

Source: Naharnet

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