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Tue Jan 21, 2020, 07:08 PM

Lebanon forms government with backing of Hezbollah and allies

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS JANUARY 21, 2020 / 7:29 AM / UPDATED 16 MINUTES AGO

Lebanon forms government with backing of Hezbollah and allies

Ellen Francis, Laila Bassam
4 MIN READ

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon formed a new government on Tuesday under Prime Minister Hassan Diab after the Shi’ite group Hezbollah and its allies agreed on a cabinet that must urgently address the economic crisis and ensuing protests that toppled its predecessor.

The heavily indebted country has been without effective government since Saad al-Hariri resigned as premier in October, prompted by protests against a political elite seen as having caused the crisis through state corruption.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah and allies including President Michel Aoun nominated Diab as premier last month after efforts failed to strike a deal with Hariri, Lebanon’s main Sunni leader and an ally of the West and Gulf Arab states.

Weeks of wrangling over portfolios among Hezbollah’s allies held up an agreement until Tuesday, when the heavily armed group delivered an ultimatum to its allies to make a deal or suffer the consequences, sources familiar with the talks said.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-government/lebanon-forms-government-with-backing-of-hezbollah-and-allies-idUSKBN1ZK1EJ

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