Lebanon forms govt after 13 months

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Lebanese leaders on Friday agreed to form a 24-minister government led by Najib Mikati after a 13-month vacuum.

The breakthrough followed intense pressure exerted by the French on Thursday night while consulting with the Iranian and US sides. Mikati said: “We are now on a plane making an emergency landing.

Everyone must fasten their seatbelts and hope that we can soon change the course of this plane. The situation is difficult and our money has dried up, and there is no money for us to keep subsidies, reports Arab News.

“Let’s put politics aside and work for the people. No one will disrupt our work and whoever wants to do so can see themselves out.

We have a lot of work to do. Let us raise the morale of the people; a gentle word can be merciful.” Mikati wept in front of the journalists, saying: “The situation is difficult. We will work with hope and determination and will contact all international bodies to secure the basic life necessities.

We are here to serve the country as a whole; not one group without the other. I will knock on the doors of Arab countries because we need to rebuild the burned bridges.

Lebanon belongs to this Arab world. “I hope we can put an end to the current collapse, address the people’s demands and bring prosperity back to Lebanon.

The government is made up of experts with political affiliations. We have a deadline until the May elections to accomplish our mission.”Mikati said that the former prime ministers gave him their confidence. —AFP

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