US welcomes agreement on formation of new Lebanese government

The US welcomed Saturday the announcement on the formation of a new government under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, "offering hope that urgent action will be taken to address the dire needs and legitimate aspirations of the Lebanese people."
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement, "We urge quick approval by the parliament so that this new government can get to work on concrete reforms to address Lebanon's deteriorating economic situation.

"This year, the United States has contributed nearly $372 million in humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people," he pointed out, adding, "We stand ready to support the new government with the hard work ahead".

Lebanese factions formed a new government on Friday, breaking a 13-month deadlock that saw the country slide deeper into financial chaos and poverty.

Lebanon has been without a fully empowered government since the catastrophic Aug. 4, 2020 explosion at Beirut port, which forced the resignation of then Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government.

Rival political groups were locked in disagreement over the make-up of a new government since then, hastening the country’s economic meltdown.

The new Cabinet of 24 ministers headed by billionaire businessman Najib Mikati was announced by the president's office.The new government announced Friday faces a mammoth task that few believe can be surmounted, including undertaking critically needed reforms.

Among its first jobs will be overseeing a financial audit of the central bank, and resuming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package to stem the country’s collapse.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday he welcomed the formation of a new government in Lebanon, and added it was vital that Lebanon's politicians “stuck to engagements necessary to undertake key reforms”.

Mikati, a businessman tycoon from the northern city of Tripoli and one of the richest men in Lebanon, was tasked with forming a new government in July.