UPDATE – Lebanon PM gives president ‘formula’ for national unity


By Wassim Saif al-Din

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday announced that he had provided President Michel Aoun with a “formula for achieving national unity”.

After a meeting with Aoun at Beirut’s Baabda presidential palace, Hariri told reporters that his formula — aimed at achieving consensus on the country’s next government — had not yet been revealed to political parties.

He added that consultations among the country’s main political parties were still underway, but noted that cabinet nominees had not yet been put forward.

For its part, the Lebanese Presidency, said in a statement, that Aoun has received from Hariri an initial formula of the new cabinet.

According to the presidential statement, Aoun has made some remarks on the formula based on the criteria that he has set for government and required for the interest of Lebanon, without disclosing those remarks.

The statement stressed that, Aoun will remain in consultation with Hariri in preparation for agreement on the future cabinet.

Following parliamentary polls in May, Aoun tasked Hariri with drawing up Lebanon’s next government.

Since then, the country’s main political parties and forces have striven to reach a degree of consensus amid mutual recriminations as to who was responsible for the ongoing delay.