Lebanon: Opposition agrees to join national unity cabinet
The Lebanese opposition has agreed to "go ahead with the formation of a national unity cabinet," paving the way for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to introduce a cabinet lineup to President Michel Suleiman. The decision came on Friday night during a meeting attended by Speaker Nabih Berri, Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun, Marada movement leader Suleiman Franjieh, Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Caretaker Telecommunications Minister Jebran Bassil, MP Ali Hassan Khalil and Hussein Khalil and Wafiq Safa.
"The conferees agreed to go ahead with the formation of the national unity cabinet based on the agreements reached during negotiations" carried out by Hariri with different factions, said a statement issued by the opposition members following their four-hour meeting. According to Naharanet, the opposition leaders also voiced "hope that this step would bring good for Lebanon and its people."
The new 30-minister cabinet is to include 15 ministers from Hariri's coalition, 10 from the opposition, and five, including the key interior and defense portfolios, will be nominated by President Suleiman.