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Lebanon’s Deputy PM: No Problem in Policy Statement, Electoral Law is Priority - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut- Lebanon’s new deputy Premier and Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani expected the adoption of the cabinet’s policy statement soon, saying the priority in the coming stage is to agree on an electoral draft-law.

Hasbani said that the policy statement will not be a problem for the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri amid differences among its different components.

“The government is a cabinet of national unity. Consequently, there is political unanimity on President Michel Aoun’s acceptance speech,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

“We expect to adopt the policy statement soon,” said Hasbani.

Asked about the electoral law, the deputy PM said the adopted draft-law should be modern and fair, particularly that the government’s main mission is the approval of the law and holding the parliamentary elections on time.

On whether there will be a technical extension for the polls that are scheduled to take place next spring, Hasbani believed that it was too early to talk about an extension.

About reports that Aoun could soon visit Saudi Arabia, in his first trip abroad after his election, Hasbani said he had no information about that, but stressed that Lebanon’s ties with Riyadh are historic and strong.

He also said that there has been a clear improvement in relations between Beirut and Gulf countries, adding that such progress would develop Lebanon’s economy and tourism, and improve investment.

“Reports about the visit of Gulf citizens to Lebanon during the holidays and the positive vibe that the cabinet formation created would increase confidence in the country and contribute to development in all fields, sectors and institutions,” said Hasbani.

The minister expected the return of Gulf investments to Lebanon soon and said there are indications that Saudis, Gulf citizens and Arabs would return to the country.