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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Dec 14th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Opposition Gives Consent to Hariri Proposal Paving Way for Cabinet Formation
Opposition Gives Consent to Hariri Proposal Paving Way for Cabinet Formation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet   
Saturday, 07 November 2009

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Suleiman: Government a 'Lebanese Product' for the First Time

Opposition Gives Consent to Hariri Proposal Paving Way for Cabinet Formation

Lebanon's opposition has agreed to "go ahead with the formation of a national unity cabinet," paving way for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to propose a cabinet lineup to President Michel Suleiman in the coming hours.

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.

The opposition leaders also expressed "hope that this step would bring good for Lebanon and its people."

Bassil visited Hariri at Center House at noon Saturday and informed him about the opposition's consent on the formation of a national unity cabinet.

However, Baabda sources told several local TV stations that Suleiman is not expected to issue a decree on the cabinet on Saturday. The sources, on the other hand, did not rule out a visit by Hariri to Baabda.

The new 30-minister cabinet is set 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 Michel Suleiman.

An Nahar newspaper said Hariri had proposed that the FPM and its allies get the telecom, energy, industry and tourism portfolios and a state minister.

As for Speaker Nabih Berri, he would get the foreign and health portfolio and most probably the youth and sports ministry. Hizbullah's share would include the agriculture and administrative reform ministries, according to the newspaper.

Hariri was nominated as prime minister-designate after his coalition's victory in the June 7 parliamentary elections.

He has spent more than four months trying to broker a deal with the opposition to join the unity cabinet. However, he faced many obstacles, including demands by Aoun for his son-in-law Bassil to retain the telecom portfolio.

A majority leader told al-Liwaa newspaper that the Iranian and Syrian green light quickened the formation of the government after Hizbullah pressured Aoun. However, a top FPM official denied any foreign link to the latest political developments or to Bassil's visit to Damascus. 

Beirut, 07 Nov 09, 08:10

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&2D4F76550A8506AAC225766700564C07

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Suleiman: Government a 'Lebanese Product' for the First Time

President Michel Suleiman was quoted as saying that the new government, and for the first time, is a "Lebanese product".

The president's visitors told the Central News Agency that Suleiman stressed "the national unity government would see light in the next 48 hours according to the 15-10-5 formula."

Suleiman was quoted as saying that the time spent on forming the government was not in vain, rather it was so important to gather the Lebanese and rebuild trust among them.

The sources also mentioned that President Suleiman pointed at the importance of the role played by PM-designate Saad Hariri in terms of contacts he made with all parties where he managed to establish trust that can facilitate the role and function of the cabinet in the coming period. 

Beirut, 07 Nov 09, 18:29
 
http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&2D4F76550A8506AAC225766700564C07

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Cabinet Policy Statement New Point of Contention

With cabinet on the verge of formation following more than four months of attempts by PM-designate Saad Hariri to broker a deal, the government policy statement seems to be the new subject of contention.

An Nahar daily said Saturday that some majority forces have been asking not to mention the resistance arms in the policy statement. Such a demand has been met with an insistence by the opposition not to bring up the issue of Lebanon's commitment to international resolutions.

Al-Liwaa, newspaper in its turn, said a new war has erupted between majority and minority over Hizbullah's arms.

It said Christians in the March 14 forces insist on discussing the issue of Hizbullah's weapons during national dialogue sessions headed by President Michel Suleiman rather than mentioning them in the policy statement.

According to al-Liwaa, Hizbullah has informed Hariri that it would propose not to bring up the issue of resolutions 1559 and 1701 if there was no mention of the party's arms.

The newspaper, said, however, that contacts made on Friday led to a decision to include the article of the previous policy statement as a middle ground solution that satisfies all parties.

Beirut, 07 Nov 09, 10:53

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&2D4F76550A8506AAC225766700564C07

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