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Prime Minister Najib Mikati insisted on Monday during an interview with AFP shortly after announcing his government formation that his new government line-up, in which the Hezbollah and its allies have the majority, will not place Lebanon in the radical camp.

“The fact that Hezbollah and its allies have 18 seats in the 30-member cabinet does not mean that the country will join the radical camp in terms of its relations with the international community,” Mikati told AFP

Mikati pointed out that it was significant that more than one-third , 12 of the cabinet ministers were appointed by himself, president Michel Suleiman and MP Walid Jumblatt, thus ensuring Hezbollah and its allies could not control the government.

But according to observers Hezbollah considers Jumblatt its ally too and thus it controls two thirds of the cabinet seats plus one ( 18 + Jumblatt’s share of 3 seats ) . Including Jumblatt in the share of Mikati and Suleiman was reportedly a ploy intended to cover up Hezbollah’s control of the government .

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