'Balanced country', Hariri
Photo: AP
Photo: AP
Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah
Photo: AP
Lebanon opposition rejects Hariri gov't move
Prime minister-designate presents list of 30 ministers to President Michel Suleiman. List includes 15 ministers from Hariri camp, five from Suleiman's camp and 10 representatives from Hezbollah-affiliated parties

Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad Hariri presented to President Michel Suleiman his list of ministers to serve in the next government. Of the 30 ministers, 10 are members of the Hezbollah-affiliated camp.


The move was swiftly rejected by opposition factions including the powerful Hezbollah, and President Suleiman is not expected to approve any cabinet proposal that does not have opposition support.


Hariri's list includes 15 ministers from his own camp, 10 ministers from parties affiliated with the Shiite group, and five ministers from Suleiman's camp.


Hariri met with Suleiman on Monday at his summer home in Lebanon. At the end of the meeting, the prime minister-designate said the composition of the new cabinet "will represent the balance in the country and honor the results of the parliamentary elections".


"The president informed me that he would study the formation," Hariri said after meeting Suleiman, who has said he wants the government to be formed before he travels to the UN General Assembly later this month.


A senior opposition source told Reuters: "We will not deal with this proposal because we know nothing about it. As far as we are concerned, it does not exist and we will have nothing to do with it."


Hezbollah's entrance to key roles in the Lebanese government is not surprising, considering Hariri's statements during coalition talks.


Last month, the prime minister-designate stressed that Hezbollah would be a part of the Lebanese unity government "whether Israel likes it or not".


"I want to stress before the Israeli enemy that Hezbollah will be in this government since national interest requires that everyone be a part of it," Hariri said last month.


"We are facing challenges that ought to be met in the framework of national unity," he added.


Israel has warned a number of times in the past against Hezbollah's joining the Lebanese government.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month, "If Hezbollah enters the government as an official body, let it be clear that the Lebanese government will be held accountable for any attack on Israel coming from its territory.


"The moment they are part of the government, the sovereign Lebanese government is responsible. I hope we will not need such responses."


Reuters contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 09.07.09, 16:33
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