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Lebanon`s Hariri set to announce unity government

Last Updated: Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 17:04

Beirut: Lebanon`s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri will announce a new national unity government in the next two days after clinching a deal with the opposition on its make-up, politicians from both sides said on Saturday.
Lebanon has been without a functioning government since Hariri led his coalition, backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia, to victory in a June parliamentary election against Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah and its allies.

A government acceptable to all main parties is seen as key to maintaining stability in a country facing sectarian and political tensions, as well as a huge debt burden.

"The government is as good as formed," Member of Parliament Okab Sakr, who is close to Hariri, told New TV station. "It`s all about the final touches now and its formation will be completed this weekend."

Other MPs from both camps made similar remarks.

Leaders of the opposition, including Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, agreed to join the proposed government during a meeting on Friday night.

"Participants at the talks have agreed to forge ahead with the formation of the national unity government in accordance with the regulations that were agreed upon during the negotiations that had been conducted," Hezbollah said in a statement after the meeting, held at a secret location.

Political sources said the opposition would officially inform Hariri of its decision and hand him over the names of their proposed ministers.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 17:04

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