While Machnouk did not see the presidential vacuum lasting as long as a year, he said it would take "not less than six months" before the post was filled. (REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)
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The success of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has emboldened like-minded militants in Lebanon who believe they can emulate it, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said, confirming the militant Sunni group had now appeared in Beirut for the first time.In an interview with Reuters, Nouhad Machnouk also signaled that there would be no quick end to the political instability buffeting Lebanon. Indicating how the country's politics remain hostage to events in the wider region, Machnouk said the fate of the presidency that fell empty in May was out of Lebanese hands.Machnouk said the security forces were coordinating more closely than at any time since the end of the Lebanese civil war in the early 1990s.Machnouk took office in February, when politicians finally managed to agree on a new government after Lebanon had gone for nearly a year without one.While Machnouk did not see the presidential vacuum lasting as long as a year, he said it would take "not less than six months" before the post was filled.
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