Lebanon Forms New Government

Al Mayadeen

All heads of the state had a meeting in Baabda Palace, where the formation of Lebanon’s new government was announced.

The Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, and the President-designate, Najib Mikati, signed the decree to form the new government in the presence of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

The new government includes 24 ministers, headed by Mikati and Saada al-Shami as his deputy. Bassam Mawlawi was named the Minister of Interior,  Abdullah Abu Habib is the new Foreign Affairs Minister, Youssef Khalil is the Finance Minister, Brigadier General Maurice Selim is the Defence Minister,  Firas Al-Abyad is the Health Minister, George Kurdahi is the Media Minister, and Amin Salam is the Minister of Economy.

Following the formation of the government, Mikati said that the government will take care of securing the essential needs of the Lebanese people based on a national, not factional principle. He declared that the government will seek help from the Arab world and that he will reconnect what has been cut off.

He said, “Put politics aside, and let’s rise with action plans that work for the resurrection of Lebanon, and we do not want to speak about the blocking third noting that people had enough with promises. Moreover, Mikati committed to organizing the parliamentary elections on time.

The Prime Minister addressed the issue of lifting the subsidy off essential goods, saying the government does not wish to do so, but it is obliged to do since there is a dollar deficit in the financial market.

In response to Al Mayadeen‘s question about the prospects for cooperation with Syria to address the economic crisis, Mikati stressed that the government will deal with any party for the sake of Lebanon’s interest – with the exception of “Israel” of course.

Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri, as he left Baabda Palace, contented himself with saying: “From now on, we will hasten to the best of deeds.”

Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati performed Friday prayers at the Great Omari Mosque before heading to the Baabda Palace to meet the President.

Mikati is the third person designated to form the government after Mustafa Adeeb, who resigned last September, and the former prime minister, Saad Hariri, who resigned last July.

The former Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, submitted his resignation to President Aoun in August 2020, following the Beirut Port explosion incident.

France has warned during the past months of the danger of slowing down the formation of the government, but the pressure France exerted on the Lebanese political leaders to form a government did not bring results quickly.

Al Mayadeen‘s reporter stated that French efforts, during the last hours, contributed to reaching a settlement between the President and the Prime Minister-designate regarding the distribution of some portfolios, especially that of the Ministry of Economy.

The positive vibes which resulted after the announcement of the formation of the government contributed to reducing the exchange rate of the dollar in the parallel market. The price of the dollar fell to below 16,000 after it recorded nearly 18,000 in the morning.