Mrad receives Bassil at his residence in Beirut, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (The Daily Star/HO)
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Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil failed Monday during a meeting with the six Hezbollah-backed Sunni lawmakers demanding representation in the new government to make any breakthrough in the issue that has held up the Cabinet formation since last month.Instead, Bassil, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, called on the six Sunni MPs not affiliated with the Future Movement to meet with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to try to find a solution to the problem of their representation, which has been rejected outright by Hariri.Speaking to reporters after the meeting held at MP Abdel-Rahim Mrad's residence, Bassil said the Future Movement and Hariri and the six Sunni MPs are the ones involved in the representation problem.Mrad said Bassil, who has been assigned by President Michel Aoun to advance an initiative aimed at resolving the problem, made a proposal during the meeting that he hoped would resolve the issue.The proposal also calls for naming one of the six Sunni MPs as minister who would be among the five Sunni ministers allotted to the prime minister. In the outgoing Cabinet, Hariri has four Sunni ministers and a Maronite minister as part of his share, while the sixth Sunni minister is part of Aoun's share.Mrad said Bassil recognized the six MPs' right to be represented in the next government.
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