Lebanon’s PM says still possible to form cabinet

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said that he has not given up hope on forming a cabinet, Lebanese news website Now Lebanon reported.

“Desperation has not crept into my heart or mind and the possibility of forming a cabinet still exists,” Salam told Lebanese newspaper As-Safir in an interview published on Saturday.

Salam said that “stepping down will be the worst solution…nobody wants it and nobody advised me to do it.” This comes despite media reports that he was considering resignation.

Tammam Salam was tasked with forming a new government following the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati after disputes with the Shi’ite party Hezbollah, Reuters reported.

Conflict in neighboring Syria, as well as disputes between the opposed March 8 and March 14 movements, have complicated the process of forming a government.

“The fact that Lebanon is waiting for the result of regional events may make the formation of the cabinet more difficult and cause many repercussions to the country’s security, economy, and finance,” he added in his interview with As-Safir.

Another Lebanese news website, Al-Akhbar, also reported in June that the decision of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to label Hezbollah a ‘terrorist organization’ had further stalled progress in selecting a cabinet.

But Salam stressed his commitment to form a government, telling As-Safir "the Lebanese of varying sides and factions want a government and they are not concerned with conditions and counter-conditions,” he said.