France backs proposal to end Lebanese cabinet deadlock – Middle East Monitor


France yesterday backed a proposal by former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that could help form the new Lebanese cabinet amid the country’s worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.”This declaration represents an opening and all parties must understand its importance so that a mission government can now be put in place,” said the French foreign ministry.

On Tuesday, Hariri – a prominent Sunni politician – offered a way out by proposing that an “independent” Shia candidate be appointed finance minister. He stressed, however, that this decision would not mean that the post “should always be occupied by a Shiite”.

Paris lobbied Lebanese politicians for the swift formation of a government that “will craft reforms to fight corruption and help attract international aid to fix an economy drowning in debt.”

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Sunni Prime Minister designate Mustapha Adib had sought to shake up ministerial positions with a new cabinet of specialists. In Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system, the prime minister will always be a Muslim and the president will be a Christian.

Lebanon’s problems were compounded by a devastating explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4. The fires that followed in and around the region and an explosion Tuesday in southern Lebanon shook the country again.


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