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World Lebanon's prime minister-designate steps down in blow to French initiative

14:06  26 september  2020
14:06  26 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Lebanon ' s prime minister - designate quit on Saturday after almost a month of efforts to line up a non-partisan cabinet despite French pressure on the country's sectarian leaders to rally together to haul the nation out of a deep crisis. Mustapha Adib said he was stepping down from "the task of forming the

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By Edmund Blair and Raya Jalabi

a man wearing a suit and tie: Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib speaks at the presidential palace in Baabda © Reuters/MOHAMED AZAKIR Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib speaks at the presidential palace in Baabda

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's prime minister-designate quit on Saturday after trying for almost a month to line up a non-partisan cabinet, dealing a blow to a French bid aimed at rallying sectarian leaders to tackle the worst crisis since the nation's 1975-1990 civil war.

Nabih Berri wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is seen at the presidential palace in Baabda © Reuters/HANDOUT FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is seen at the presidential palace in Baabda

Mustapha Adib, former ambassador to Berlin, was picked on Aug. 31 to form a cabinet after President Emmanuel Macron intervened to secure a consensus on naming him.

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  Mustapha Adib, Lebanon's short-lived PM-designate Mustapha Adib, a little-known diplomat tasked with forming a new crisis government to save Lebanon from the brink, resigned Saturday after less than a month as premier designate. Adib was named on August 31 to replace Hassan Diab, whose government resigned in the aftermath of the deadly August 4 blast at Beirut's port.Adib was named on August 31 to replace Hassan Diab, whose government resigned in the aftermath of the deadly August 4 blast at Beirut's port.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last month that Lebanon risked disappearing without critical reforms. "We have a historic opportunity via the initiative launched by President Emmanuel Macron," Simon Abi Ramia of the Free Patriotic Movement said in a tweet.

Lebanon ’ s Prime Minister - Designate Mustapha Adib has stepped down , after efforts to create a new government fell through. Although he expressed support for political reforms and overhauls urged by French President Emmanuel Macron, Adib ran into innumerable hurdles, including a fierce debate

Under the French roadmap, the new government would take swift steps to tackle corruption and implement reforms needed to trigger billions of dollars of international aid to fix an economy that has been crushed by a mountain of debt.

The nation took a further knock when a huge explosion on Aug. 4 at Beirut port ruined a swathe of the capital.

Adib, a Sunni Muslim based on the sectarian system of power sharing, announced he was stepping down but said Lebanon must not abandon the French plan or squander Macron's goodwill.

"I stress that this initiative must continue," he said after meeting President Michel Aoun, a Christian. He wished his successor well in the "hard task" of forming a government.

Adib had sought to form a government of specialists in a nation where power is shared between Muslims and Christians and political loyalties tend to follow confessional lines.

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Lebanon ' s prime ministerdesignate steps down after failing to form cabinet. NNA - Lebanon ' s prime minister - designate quit on Saturday after almost a month of efforts to line up a non-partisan cabinet despite French pressure on the country's sectarian leaders to rally together to haul the nation

Beirut, Lebanon (CNN) On Lebanon ' s centenary Tuesday, French jets whizzed over the mountains of its former mandate as a French president planted a cedar tree declaring the Back then, General Henri Gouraud declared a new Lebanese state whose first Prime Minister would be Auguste Adib.

Politicians had promised Paris they would have a government in place by mid-September. But Adib's efforts stumbled over how to make appointments, particularly the post of finance minister, who will have a key role in drawing up an economic rescue plan.

ROADBLOCK

Talks with the International Monetary Fund on a vital bailout package stalled this year, and one of the cabinet's first tasks would have been to restart the negotiations.

There was no immediate comment from Paris about Adib's resignation.

A senior Lebanese political source said much now depended on whether the French would give up. Macron said when he launched the plan that he was gambling his political capital on it.

The cabinet formation hit a roadblock over a demand by Lebanon's two main Shi'ite groups, Amal and the heavily armed Iran-backed Hezbollah, that they name several ministers, including finance, a position previously held by a Shi'ite.

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon offered his resignation on Tuesday, bowing to a demand of the enormous antigovernment protests that have consumed the country and suspended daily life for nearly two weeks.

Prime Minister - designate Mustapha Adib has been seeking to appoint ministers so they can begin work on a French reform road map [File: Dalati France “regrets” that Lebanon has been unable to form a new government after a mass resignation in the wake of a deadly explosion in Beirut’ s port last

Adib held several meetings with senior Shi'ite politicians but failed to reach agreement on how the minister would be chosen.

Shi'ite leaders feared being sidelined as Adib sought to shake up appointments to ministries, some of which have been controlled by the same faction for years, politicians said.

Former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, a leading Sunni politician, said in a statement that anyone celebrating the collapse of Macron's initiative "will bite your fingers in regret."

The street value of the Lebanese pound, which has plunged from an official peg of 1,500 to the dollar since the economic crisis erupted last year, weakened further after the news. One trader said it was now trading at 8,200 from 7,700 on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Ellen Francis and Laila Bassam; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Jason Neely and Helen Popper)

France presses at UN for new Lebanon government .
France on Wednesday urged international pressure to form a new government in Lebanon, as frustration grows with the pace of reform in the wake of the giant Beirut port explosion. President Emmanuel Macron, who has visited the former French colony twice in the wake of the explosion, had repeatedly urged the Lebanese not to waste any more time in forming a government. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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