Hariri Says Cabinet Crisis Tied to Syrian Relations Which Lebanese MPs Want to Maintain

Published August 16th, 2018 - 11:02 GMT
(AFP/ File Photo)
(AFP/ File Photo)
Issues linked to the normalization of relations with the Syrian regime were seen this week as the main foreign obstacles hindering the formation of the Lebanese government.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said some parties have demanded to include the normalization of ties with the regime of Bashar Assad in the policy statement as a precondition for the formation of the cabinet.

“Then the government will not be formed,” Hariri warned.

However, speaking during a ceremony held by ‘Hezbollah’ at the Ashura Square in Beirut's southern suburbs to mark the 12th anniversary of the end of Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon, the party’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah advised Hariri not to take predetermined positions from the Syrian regime so that he doesn’t back off later.

Member of the Mustaqbal movement politburo Mustafa Alloush told Asharq Al-Awsat that regional obstacles are hindering the government formation.

He accused some Lebanese political parties of owing favors to Assad. They are the March 8 alliance and some figures in the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), said Alloush.

Although Lebanon has officially pledged to distance itself from the developments in Syria, Alloush said: “The Iranian team in Lebanon considers that the dissociation policy was only applicable during the phase of the war. This team believes that the Iranian axis has won and therefore parties in Lebanon should deal with these developments.”

Despite the foreign factors causing the government deadlock, Alloush spoke of internal problems as well, including the number of ministries and the type of portfolios.

He said each party is trying to clinch the highest ministerial representation possible to strengthen its role in the government.

He said the FPM is still asking for 11 ministers while the Lebanese Forces are trying to secure five ministries including a sovereign portfolio. The same applies to the Druze and the Sunni shares. The Progressive Socialist Party has been trying to keep the three Druze ministries as part of its share to safeguard its power inside the government, Alloush explained.
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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