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Lebanon: New Cabinet Holds First Session on Wednesday | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun (C) meets with Prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri (R) and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon December 18, 2016. Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters

Beirut – The newly formed Lebanese Cabinet is expected to convene on Wednesday at the Baabda Palace, while Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has officially moved to Beirut’s Grand Serail, the premiership’s headquarters.

Wednesday’s Cabinet session, chaired by President Michel Aoun, will have only one item on its agenda – that is the formation of a ministerial committee that would be entrusted with drafting the ministerial statement, based on which Parliament will give the Cabinet the confidence vote.

Well-informed sources told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that there was a “quasi-agreement” on the content of the ministerial statement, which would be mainly based on President Michel Aoun’s oath-taking speech.

The sources added that none of the political parties would have objections over the ministerial statement, especially that the current Cabinet was regarded as a transitional government and would only focus on drafting a new electoral law and holding parliamentary elections in May.

Information Minister Melhem Riachi said that no complications would hamper the drafting of the ministerial statement, stressing that all political parties have expressed their support to stances announced by Aoun during the oath-taking ceremony.

In comments to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Riachi said that the presence of March 14 and March 8 figures in the government would bolster government’s work and make it more efficient.

Riachi added that the new government’s priorities were to best serve the Lebanese people’s interests and agree on a new electoral law.

In earlier remarks following the announcement of the Cabinet’s formation, Hariri stressed that the main priorities would be represented by preserving security stability in the wake of crises in the region.

He added that the country should be protected from the negative repercussions resulting from the war in Syria.