FRI 15 - 2 - 2019
Date: Jul 2, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
Hariri, Bassil discuss govt. formation
BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri met with Free Patriotic Movement head and caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil Sunday evening to discuss political developments, in particular, the formation of a new government, a statement from the premier's office confirmed.

Hariri and Bassil met at Hariri's Downtown residence, with Bassil arriving around 9:30 p.m. and discussions continuing over dinner, according to the statement. No further details were provided.

It is the first meeting between the two since tensions emerged between Hariri and FPM founder President Michel Aoun over differing views on the appropriate share in the new Cabinet for the Lebanese Forces.

Hariri nonetheless denied last week that there were any issues between him and Aoun, and said his political settlement with the president remained firm.

Former premiers advocate more support for Hariri

BEIRUT: Several former premiers Saturday called for greater cooperation with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in the formation of a new government.

The statement came after Hariri met with former Prime Ministers Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam at Hariri’s Downtown residence.

“The meeting focused on the political situation in Lebanon and the region and the issue of the formation of the new government,” a statement from Hariri’s office said.

“The participants ... stressed the importance of cooperating with Hariri and supporting his mission to form the next government.”

Hariri was tasked with forming a government in May, but his efforts to do so have faced several hurdles as a result of competing demands from different political sides.

Nevertheless, he has assured on multiple occasions of his optimism that the formation process will progress smoothly as long as the different sides commit to calm.

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