Reports: Jumblat Met Salam, Government Formation Deadlock Focus of Discussions

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Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat discussed the latest government and security developments in Lebanon during his meeting with PM-designate Tammam Salam late Wednesday, highlighting the necessity to form a cabinet that includes all Lebanese factions including Hizbullah.

Discussions between the two men focused on the various stages of the consultation process that kicked off in March between Salam and the different Lebanese parties in a bid to line up a cabinet. They focused on the conflicting stances that obstructed Salam, so far, from forming the new government, informed sources told al-Joumhouria daily.

Moreover, Jumblat touched on the “reasons that make him adhere to Hizbullah's representation in the cabinet. He insisted on having all Lebanese components represented without any exception,” the sources said.

On his part, Salam reiterated his will to form a “national interest government” composed of 24 ministers, and rejected to give veto power to any party so “it will not bear a ticking bomb within its own formation decree that could blow up in light of the abnormal situation prevailing in the region,” the sources added.

Jumblat's visit could be a prelude to another round of consultations that could kick off next week, according to the sources, as soon as the constitutional council decides on the appeal submitted on extending the Parliament mandate, they added.

The security situation has lately deteriorated in some Lebanese regions mainly in the northern city of Tripoli, which further delayed the consultation process.

Following the resignation of PM Najib Miqati's cabinet in May, Salam was designated to line up a cabinet, amid conflicting positions between the March 14 alliance that demands forming an impartial cabinet and the March 8 insisting to form a political one, and Jumblat's insistence not to vote for a cabinet that does not represent all Lebanese parties.

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