Dubai- Massader News
Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri gave President Michel Aoun a line-up for a new cabinet on Wednesday after months of wrangling blocked a French plan to pull the country from financial crisis, according to Reuters.
Without a credible government, there will be no bailout to save Lebanon, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned ahead of his visit to Beirut later this month.
Former colonial ruler France, spearheading foreign aid efforts, had sought to rally Lebanon’s leaders but grew frustrated as it got mired in fractious sectarian politics.
Lebanese politicians have failed to agree over portfolios, let alone enact reforms, even as the country hurtles towards what U.N. agencies have warned will be a “social catastrophe”.
Hariri, who was named premier for a fourth time in October, said the president would examine his list of 18 “non-partisan, expert” ministers and that the “atmosphere was positive”. Aoun’s office said the two had agreed at Wednesday’s meeting to try to bridge the gap between their proposals.
It was the first move towards attempting to break the logjam after weeks of inaction, as foreign reserves used to subsidise basic goods dwindle, triggering alarm.
Lebanon’s worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war has impoverished half the population and crashed the currency.
A senior Lebanese political source said there had been renewed pressure from abroad for the politicians to break the deadlock but it remained unclear if that would succeed.
The outgoing government quit after a massive explosion at Beirut port in August, which killed more than 200 people and devastated swathes of the capital.
Reporting by Ellen Francis; Additional reporting by Laila Bassam; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Gareth Jones