Hariri forms new government in Lebanon
Lebanon said Thursday Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri had formed a new Cabinet that retained economic policymakers but left out key Christian opposition figures.
Souheil Bouji, the secretary-general of the Cabinet, said Finance Minister Fouad Siniora and Telecommunications Minister Jean-Louis Qardahi had retained their government posts.
But the line-up did not include members of the Christian opposition to the Syrian presence on Lebanon, who analysts had expected might gain a seat in the 30-member Cabinet, which must still be approved by parliament.
Hariri resigned Tuesday in a step that paved the way for a new government, but lawmakers later voted to keep him as prime minister and asked him to form a Cabinet.
The new Cabinet also named outgoing Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud as defense minister and replaced him in the Foreign Ministry with Jean Obeid, a former education minister. (Albawaba.com)