0940 GMT January 18, 2020
The new government will be formed quickly and its priorities will include “achieving the essential reforms in different sectors” and fighting corruption, Aoun said on Thursday during a meeting with heads of professional syndicates.
Amid progress in talks on forming a new cabinet, fresh clashes erupted between police and anti-government protesters in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Wednesday, Presstv Reported.
The protests broke out in Lebanon on October 17, when the government introduced a set of economic austerity measures.
Saad al-Hariri resigned as prime minister on October 29 under pressure from protesters, who accuse the ruling elite of pushing Lebanon towards political turmoil at a time of acute economic crisis.
Hariri said at the time that he had reached a “dead end” in trying to resolve the economic crisis, which has been further complicated by violence on the streets.
Currently, Lebanese political parties are engaged in negotiations to resolve the cabinet crisis.
Hariri, who is still serving in a caretaker capacity, told reporters on Tuesday that he backed Lebanese businessman Samir al-Khatib to head the next cabinet, adding, however, that “some details” still had to be hashed out.
Hariri also said that he would not take part in the new Lebanese government.
Khatib is an executive vice president of Khatib & Alami engineering company.
He reportedly met Lebanon’s caretaker foreign minister, Gebran Bassil, at the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday after holding talks with President Aoun at Baabda Palace to gain their support for the premiership.
A source familiar with the cabinet formation process said Khatib was seeking to promote a 24-member techno-political administration, which would also include representatives of Lebanese protesters, The Daily Star newspaper reported.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Bassil signaled that progress had been made in talks on forming a new government.
Now, he said, there was agreement on an administration headed by “a trusted figure Hariri fully backs” and with a majority of “competent, specialized” people.
“The government must be open to everyone,” he pointed out. “We hope that matters have reached close to a happy ending.”
Separately, Aoun said on Tuesday that “the upcoming days will bring positive developments.”
An unnamed political source told The Daily Star that Aoun might set a date for parliamentary consultations later this week if the main political parties reached a deal on supporting Khatib.