Hariri Meets Aoun, Says No New Government before Holidays


Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri announced Wednesday that “clear complications” are still delaying the formation of the new government.

“I was hoping to have a government before the holidays but there are still clear complications,” Hariri told reporters after holding talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda — their second meeting in two days.

“I will not stop before I form a government and confidence must be rebuilt,” Hariri added, warning that “there is no time left” and that “the country is collapsing rapidly.”

Addressing Lebanese citizens, Hariri said: “Let no one tell you that we can’t halt the collapse, but we need a government of specialists to stop this collapse.”

“I will keep insisting on a government of specialists and the president also wants a government of specialists,” he added.

Urging “modesty” and “sacrifices for Lebanon,” the PM-designate called on officials to “think of citizens and those affected by the (Beirut port) blast.”

“We are capable of halting the collapse, but we must show modesty and think of the country’s interest and the government must be formed after New Year,” Hariri added.

A statement issued by the Presidency meanwhile said that “no final agreement was reached during the meeting.”

“It has been decided to continue the consultations in future meetings,” the statement added.

Sources informed on the meeting meanwhile told al-Jadeed TV that “the government must be balanced so that it manages to shoulder the responsibilities requested from it in the coming period.”

“No agreement was reached over the obstacle of the interior and justice portfolios,” the sources added, noting that “the line-up was discussed in light of the points raised yesterday, especially as to having capable, productive and effective ministers.”



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