Lebanon cabinet formed after 13-month wait

Beirut: A Lebanese government has been formed, the presidency announced Friday, ending a 13-month impasse as the country grapples with one of the worst crises in its history.

A new cabinet was a condition for much-needed international assistance but it remains to be seen whether it can deliver requested reforms and rescue Lebanon from bankruptcy.

The announcement, which followed a meeting between Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati and President Michel Aoun, came after months horsetrading between Lebanon’s main political factions.

Mikati, Lebanon’s prime minister for the third time and the country’s richest man, made a statement from the presidency in which he vowed to leave no stone unturned in efforts to rescue the country.

“We will make use of every second to call international bodies and ensure the basic everyday life needs,” he said, adding his government would also turn to Arab countries for help.

Mikati, who was designated as prime minister in July after his two predecessors failed to clinch an agreement on a new line-up, unveiled his list of ministers.

The newcomers include many technocrats but each minister was endorsed by one or several of the factions that have dominated Lebanese politics since the 1975-1990 civil war. – AFP