Lebanon PM plans govt of experts

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Beirut

Lebanon’s newly designated prime minister said on Friday he plans to form a government of experts and independents to deal with the country’s crippling economic crisis.
Hassan Diab spoke to reporters following a meeting with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a day after he was asked by the president to form the country’s next government.
Diab, a university professor and former education minister, won a majority of lawmakers’ votes after receiving backing from the powerful Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah and its allies. However, he lacks the support of major Sunni figures, including the largest Sunni party headed by Hariri. That is particularly problematic for Diab, who as a Sunni, lacks support from his own community. And under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing agreement, the prime minister must be Sunni. Diab, however, emerged from Friday’s meeting with Hariri saying the atmosphere was “positive.”—AFP