• Lebanese government to be formed very soon: Aoun

Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced on Thursday that a new government will be formed very soon, ending over five months of deadlock after the parliamentary elections.

"The government will be [formed] very soon or sooner," Aoun told reporters Thursday, echoing earlier remarks by Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri who recently raised hopes about the formation of the Lebanese government.

“I know that the formation of the government has taken too long, but we will be able to form it, God willing. We are very close to that,” Hariri said during a speech at the Grand Serail in Beirut.

Hariri has been negotiating with Lebanon's rival parties since the parliamentary elections in May to form a new power-sharing cabinet, but they have so far been unable to reach a consensus.

In recent days stepped-up talks between leaders have increased optimism that the deadlock may soon be broken.

A government source told Reuters on Thursday that the government is expected to be formed during the weekend.

However, the parliamentary bloc of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement is not that optimistic. Last Friday, an unnamed source close to the movement cast doubt on the prediction that a new unity government will be formed in Lebanon soon.

“In light of the internal difficulties and obstacles hampering the formation, it is unlikely for the government to be formed within the ten-day time limit set by Hariri,” the source told Lebanon's Arabic-language daily newspaper al-Joumhouria.

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Oct 18, 2018 15:01 UTC
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