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Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati stressed on Friday that he is seeking to form a government that would rise up to the expectations of all the Lebanese.

He said during a popular gathering in the northern city of Tripoli: “We ask for forgiveness over the delay in the Cabinet formation because we want to establish a government that works for the whole of Lebanon.”

Miqati asked: “Who of us is greater than Lebanon? Who of us does not want justice?”

“We have assumed this difficult responsibility to extinguish the flame of strife and work for stability,” he continued during his first trip to his hometown since his appointment as premier-designate.

“Let us return to dialogue under the authority of the state institutions and we are committed to the constitution that was produced by the Taif Accord,” he said.

“All problems have solutions and dialogue solves them all,” the premier-designate noted.

“We are keen on Lebanon’s unity. We are a nation and whoever wants to transform us into a sect is harming our identity and convictions,” he stressed.

An Nahar daily reported on Friday that Miqati will stay in Tripoli until Sunday and would welcome visiting delegations at his residence over the weekend.

Although no official statement was made on his activities on Thursday, An Nahar said Mikati met with Caretaker Minister Wael Abu Faour delegated by Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat.

While no progress has been made in the formation of the cabinet, An Nahar said that the idea to grant the finance portfolio to Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun began floating again.

Aoun is at loggerheads with President Michel Suleiman over the interior ministry which was part of the head of state’s share in Saad Hariri’s government.

Mikati held a 45-minute meeting with Suleiman at Baabda palace on Friday after the president’s return from Rome.

Naharnet

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