Tue, 20 Aug 2019

BEIRUT - Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Tuesday he hoped a new government would be formed after President Michel Aoun returns from a trip abroad, after all sides made concessions.

In the more than five months since a parliamentary election in May, politicians have been unable to agree a unity government that can get to work on badly needed economic reforms.

'There are concessions from all sides, including the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM),' Hariri told reporters.

'We hope for the formation of a government after the return of the president from Yerevan, because the economic and social situation calls for speedy government formation,' he said.

Aoun is expected to return from Armenia on Friday. Rivalry between the two leading Christian parties - the FPM, allied to the Shi'ite Islamist Hezbollah movement, and the anti-Hezbollah Lebanese Forces (LF) is widely seen as the main obstacle to a deal.

Hariri said on Thursday the government would be formed within a week to 10 days because the economy could not tolerate further delay, and called on all sides to make concessions.

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