Arrival of Saad Hariri in Moscow. Photo Credit: NNA
Arrival of Saad Hariri in Moscow. Photo Credit: NNA

Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri arrived in Moscow on April 14, 2021. He should meet the various Russian officials there and discuss with them the formation of the government still blocked in Lebanon.

He is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a number of officials, including Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Chief of Protocol in the Russian government. , Ambassador Kuznisov and Lebanese Ambassador to Russia Shawki Abu Nassar.

Saad Hariri should therefore ask the Russian authorities to get involved with his local allies in the region in order to promote the formation of a new cabinet. According to the current information available from the Presidency of the Republic, the Prime Minister-designate has still not given his answer concerning the initiative of the president of the chamber Nabih Berri who proposed forming a 24-member cabinet instead of Saad Hariri’s wish to form an 18-portfolio cabinet.

It should also address the economic crisis currently going through the Land of Cedars and request assistance from Moscow to deal with it.

A country without a government as the economic crisis hits it hard

Lebanon has been without government since the resignation, on August 10, of outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

The formation of a new government is considered as one of the preconditions for the relaunch of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund in order to obtain the release of financial aid from the international community in the face of the economic crisis that Lebanon is going through.

Following Mustafa Adib’s failure to form a cabinet, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned following major protests in October 2019, was tasked with forming a new government in October 2020.

In an attempt to unblock the situation, the former prime minister promised the Amal movement to allocate the portfolio of the finance ministry to a member of the Shiite community. He also reiterated that Lebanon could do without a state of default, thus denying the gravity of the economic crisis however experienced by the population, with 55% of it now living below the poverty line while the economic recession has reached 29% according to some reports for the year 2020.

However, Saad Hariri’s proposals for an 18-member cabinet clash with the Presidency of the Republic, who points out that if the Shiite and Sunni communities choose their representatives, the Christian representatives in the new cabinet would also be chosen by the former. designated minister. General Aoun de facto considers that the current proposals of the Prime Minister contravene both the Lebanese constitution and the national pact.

The latter, for his part, accuses the head of state of wanting to obtain a blocking third party within his new cabinet.

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