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The new government will not be formed by year’s end as president Michel Aoun promised , but will reportedly be formed in 2020, a source close to Aoun said Friday, shortly after a meeting between him and PM-designate Hassan Diab.

“The names are not ready until the moment,” the source told Turkey’s official news agency Anadolu.

“The government won’t be formed over the next two days and it will likely be formed after the New Year holiday,” the source added.

The source also revealed that Aoun and Diab discussed “the (ministerial) portfolios and their distribution in addition to the idea of merging some of them.”

Quoting sources informed on the meeting, LBCI TV said the talks tackled “the details and portfolios of the Cabinet and the remaining obstacles.”

“The formation process is still in its beginning and the discussions are still ongoing over candidates and portfolios,” the sources added.

“Diab is insisting on forming a government of experts composed of only 18 ministers,” the sources added.

Earlier in the day, Aoun said the new government will be able to restore Lebanon’s “prosperity.”

“Today the country is going through very difficult circumstances and an unprecedented crisis, but we hope that the situation will gradually improve and Lebanon will regain its prosperity after the formation of the new government,” Aoun said during a meeting with delegations from the country’s armed forces.

“The economic and financial crisis that we are living dates back to 30 years ago and is not recent. It began when the economy turned into an economy of tourism and services and as debt accumulated without being paid by the state, which plunged it into a major deficit nowadays,” the president added.

Aoun promised the Lebanese on Christmas Day a new government by end year

“Lebanon will manage to overcome its current crisis and the Lebanese will have a new government as a New Year’s gift.” Aoun told reporters in Bkirki after closed door meeting with patriarch Rai on Wednesday.

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