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MP Jaber to Asharq Al-Awsat: Fate of New Lebanese Cabinet Unclear

MP Jaber to Asharq Al-Awsat: Fate of New Lebanese Cabinet Unclear

Saturday, 19 January, 2019 - 08:45
Lebanese MP Yassine Jaber. NNA file photo.
Beirut - Youssef Diab
MP Yassine Jaber, who is a member of Speaker Nabih Berri’s Development and Liberation bloc, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday that the fate of a new unity government is unclear.

“Lebanon can only be salvaged through the creation of a government that inspires confidence and that starts to implement a comprehensive reform program capable of restructuring state institutions,” he said.

The deputy warned that the country faces several security, economic and social threats, in addition to a series of regional challenges.

“Lebanon cannot confront these challenges in the absence of a government,” he told the newspaper.

Efforts by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to form the cabinet have been obstructed by conflicting demands for portfolios that must be parceled out in line with a sectarian power-sharing system.

Despite asserting that Lebanon suffers from a “severe economic stagnation,” Jaber played down fears expressed by some observers concerning a possible financial meltdown.

He said Lebanon is committed to the payment of Eurobonds, due in 2019 and 2020.

While he noted the importance of holding the Arab Economic and Development Summit in Beirut, Jaber explained that Berri’s demands to postpone the event are justified, due to a lack of government and a decision not to invite the Syrian regime despite recent Arab openness towards Damascus.

It would have been better to postpone the summit for about two months until the Arab League’s position towards Syria clarified and a cabinet was formed in Lebanon, he said.

Jaber, who heads Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Committee, said that Berri’s objection to the invitation of Libya to the summit is linked to its abuse of the case of Imam Musa Sadr.

Berri’s Amal movement objects that Lebanon builds ties with Libya due to the 1978 disappearance of Sadr, and two of his companions during an official visit to the country when Moammar Gaddafi ruled it.

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