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Lebanon: Hariri Demands Consensus on State Budget

Lebanon: Hariri Demands Consensus on State Budget

Tuesday, 23 April, 2019 - 07:15
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 24, 2017. Picture taken October 24, 2017. Reuters
Beirut - Mohamed Choucair
Prime Minister Saad Hariri is seeking for consensus in the government to pave way for the swift approval of the 2019 draft state budget, Lebanese ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

“Hariri is after a swift approval of the budget but he rejects being hasty to prevent political clashes among cabinet members,” the sources said.

The PM is expected to kick off meetings on Tuesday with concerned parties to tackle the draft budget before referring it to the cabinet for final approval.

The sources said Hariri had no objections to remarks made by President Michel Aoun following a meeting he held with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi on Sunday.

Aoun had called on all sides to speed up efforts in ending the economic crisis the soonest.

However, the sources said the president should not have launched accusations against certain political figures by claiming that he could end the crisis if “those who do not have skills” are unable to resolve it quickly.

The sources wondered whether Aoun was referring to Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, who first proposed a draft budget last August, then annexed to it another draft with amendments.

They said Aoun could have also been referring to Hariri.

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