Diab Meets Franjieh, Khalil, al-Khalil, May Accept 20-Seat Govt.

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Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab held talks Monday at his residence with Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh, Hizbullah secretary-general’s political assistant Hussein Khalil and Speaker Nabih Berri’s political aide Ali Hassan Khalil.

LBCI television said the meeting “did not achieve tangible results in terms of resolving the obstacles delaying the government’s formation.”

“Diab is still insisting on an 18-minister cabinet and will hold further consultations over a proposal to raise the number of ministers to 20,” LBCI added.

Al-Jadeed TV for its part said Diab “insisted on keeping the number of ministers at 18” but noted that he would accept a 20-seat government “should this proposal represent an exit from the country’s crises.”

MTV meanwhile revealed details about the “settlement” that is being discussed.

“A 20-minister government would be formed in which Marada would get a second Greek Orthodox minister while (Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran) Bassil would back a Greek Catholic minister and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party would name a Druze minister,” MTV said.

“But this proposal is awaiting the approval of the PM-designate,” it added.

Source Naharnet

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