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BEIRUT-

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai slammed political parties over the obstacles facing the government formation process “for the sake of immediate or future calculations and interests.”

His comments came as the country faces a government deadlock since the designation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to form the new cabinet more than two months ago.

Speaking on Friday during New Year’s mass sermon, the patriarch stressed that no political party or group had the right “to hinder the formation of the government for the sake of current or future interests, while Lebanon is moving fast towards complete collapse and bankruptcy.”

The patriarch is set to resume his initiative to bring the view of President Michel Aoun and Hariri closer on the cabinet formation.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to resolve the government deadlock has faced internal obstacles. The international community linked its economic and financial support to the country with the formation of a cabinet that will begin implementing much needed reforms.

“It is truly shameful that the New Year begins without a new government that is focused on its work. It is also disgraceful for those obstructing its formation to deal with the Lebanese problem as if it were one of the chess stones of the Middle East or the major countries,” Rai remarked.

The patriarch stressed that any solution to Lebanon’s problems, whether it was the outcome of local efforts or of cooperation with the international community and the Arab world, should be in the interest of Lebanon and all the Lebanese.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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