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Lebanon: Hariri is not waiting for Saudi Arabia's approval to form gov't

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri makes a speech during a press conference after his meeting with Lebanese President, Michel Aoun (not seen) in Beirut, Lebanon on 12 February 2021. [Lebanese Presidency - Anadolu Agency]
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri makes a speech during a press conference after his meeting with Lebanese President, Michel Aoun (not seen) in Beirut, Lebanon on 12 February 2021. [Lebanese Presidency - Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said that "unlike Hezbollah, which is always waiting for decisions to come from Iran", he does not wait "for the approval of any external party to form the government, not Saudi Arabia or anyone else."

The government media office said in a statement: "Unlike Hezbollah, which is always waiting for decisions to be issued from Iran, Hariri is not waiting for the approval of any external party to form the government, not Saudi Arabia or anyone else, but rather waits for President Aoun's permission to start the process of creating a technocratic government."

Hariri's media office responded to reports that Aoun informed the Director-General of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, that he would be happy with naming five ministers in a government of 18 ministers. However, Hariri refused because he did not want to form a government before obtaining the approval of Saudi Arabia.

The statement asked: "If the Free Patriotic Movement bloc will oppose and abstain from granting confidence to the government, then what is the justification for the president of the republic to name a third of the cabinet members?"

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