Lebanon News

New govt of experts will be formed within six weeks: Diab

Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab meets with caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut, Dec. 20, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab met with caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri Friday morning to discuss the formation of Lebanon's new government and confirm that it will be one of specialists.

"I confirm that the government will be one of independent specialists, and that we will take care of the country and address the problems that we all know about," Diab told reporters after visiting Hariri at his Downtown Beirut residence.

"I will include specialists from all fields ... and we will work as one team," he added.

Diab said the meeting had a "special flavor," that Hariri had offered his total cooperation in forming a new government and that his stance was one of a statesman.

Earlier Friday, Diab told the German TV station Deutsche Welle that a new government will be formed within six weeks.

"Previous governments in the last decade took a year to form and I seek to form a government in the next four weeks or a period that does not exceed six weeks," Diab said in an interview.

In binding consultations Thursday, Diab received the backing of a parliamentary majority to become the country's next prime minister.

He received a total of 69 votes, with support from the Shiite parties Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, and their Christian ally the Free Patriotic Movement.

Despite being designated to occupy the highest Sunni post in Lebanon's government, Diab failed to win support from Saad Hariri’s Future Movement – the largest Sunni party in Lebanon. Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party also declined to participate in Diab’s government.

Diab, a career academic and former education minister, has attempted to position himself as an independent specialist.

 

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