Lebanon News

Salam warns against sectarian rhetoric

Newly elected Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam speaks during an interview with Reuters at his home in Beirut April 7, 2013. (REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam warned Sunday against sectarian political rhetoric which would have negative repercussions on the country.

“Lebanon is passing through a delicate stage that requires everyone to be aware of their responsibility in warding off dangers, and refraining from [using] political rhetoric that provokes sectarianism,” said Salam during a ceremony organized by the Jarrah Scout Association at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.

Meanwhile, sources close to the prime minister-designate said that he is following-up on the Cabinet formation process while respecting deadlines.

“Salam is upholding consultations to form the government, and the issue needs further care,” the sources said.

“The prime minister-designate is still within the acceptable timeframe... a period of three weeks have not yet passed which means we are still within the deadlines of Cabinet formation,” the sources added.

Salam was name prime-minister designate earlier this month by 124 MPs out of Lebanon’s 128-member Parliament and was tasked with forming a new government.

Widespread optimism accompanied Salam’s appointment, and there is hope that the consensus that lead to his appointment would carry over into the Cabinet formation process.

According to the sources, serious efforts from all parties are facilitating the formation process.

The sources also insisted that Salam is at an equal distance from all parties and maintaining communication with all groups.

When asked about the PM-designate’s reported refusal of a blocking third or granting veto power to the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition, the sources said “nothing is final yet.”

“All possibilities are still suggested and there is nothing final yet [over the Cabinet formation],” the sources said.

“We still cannot say there are obstacles, all matters are being discussed,” the sources added.





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