Beirut – The ministerial consultations on Tuesday marked celebrations held in Lebanon on the 73rd commemoration of the country’s Independence Day embraced by the four leaders, President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and caretaker Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
The four failed until now to reach an agreement on a new cabinet with some parties still attached to certain ministerial portfolios and shares – which their opponents say – are over their representational size.
On Tuesday, while Hariri described things as “good” stating that “negotiations are ongoing as there is no time-limit for the government lineup,” Speaker Berri was content to reply to reports by saying: “Things are good, glittering and polished.”
Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea said on Tuesday that those who reject the new term wish to return to the days of Syrian custodianship.
“President Michel Aoun was a strong man that could not be subdued to the will of others,” Geagea said.
In the past two years, Lebanon refrained from celebrating its Independence Day due to the presidential vacuum.
This year, after the election of Aoun as president, a military parade was conducted at Shafiq Wazzan Boulevard in Beirut to mark the 73rd commemoration of the Independence Day in the presence of tight security measures. Following the parade, the four men moved to the Presidential Palace, east of Beirut where an official reception was held for the first time since the past two and a half years on this occasion.
Aoun also received several congratulating cables on this national day.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also sent a cable to his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil wishing Lebanon would recuperate its constructive role in the region in light of the agreement between all the Lebanese parties.