Mikati, president Suleiman discuss cabinet formation


Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati met with President Michel Suleiman on Friday at the Baabda palace awy from the media to address the formation of a new Lebanese cabinet, LBC TV reported

MTV reported that an atmosphere of optimism is prevailing over the cabinet formation.

LBC has reported that the representatives of Hezbollah chief and Speaker Nabih Berri ( the Khalils) met with Mikati today but did not bring him the names of cabinet ministers that he asked for . LBC warned against overoptimism.

The Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Lebanon has been run by a caretaker government since last January. Nagib Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah led-March 8 alliance, MPs Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.

A dispute over the Interior Ministry portfolio between President Michel Suleiman and MP Michel Aoun was blamed for the delay in the formation of a new cabinet headed by Mikati.

According to analysts Hezbollah is hiding behind Aoun’s demands for the ministries of Interior , Communications and justice in order to have full control of Lebanon’s security when STL indictments are issued and made public.

During his last speech Hezbollah chief made optimistic statements about the cabinet formation

According to a report by al Hayat newspaper a recent meeting between Saudi and Syrian representatives may have paved the way for the formation of the cabinet.



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