Lebanon’s new PM-designate confident his government will get Western support

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Lebanon’s new Hezbollah-backed Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab said in an interview with Al Hadath that his appointment was constitutional and that he would not have trouble receiving Western support if the government is from independent “specialists.”

Diab also added that he will be meeting with all parties and denominations, including the Sunnis.

Diab’s nomination was rejected by the Sunnis after he failed to receive the support of former prime minister Saad Hariri and his party. Under the Lebanese sectarian political system the seat of the prime minister is left to a Sunni Muslim.

Diab, an academic and former education minister, was designated on Thursday as the country’s next prime minister with the support of the heavily armed Shiite Muslim Lebanese Hezbollah and its allies. The US, UK, and Arab League have designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

Analysts say Diab faced obstacles due to his reliance on Hezbollah’s support and a lack of real support from his Sunni sect or the protest movement.

“Diab is already presented as a pro-Hezbollah PM which kills any possibility to get the international financial aid which is the only chance to get out of the crisis,” said Sami Nader, head of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs.

Lebanon, in its worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war, has been seeking a new government since Prime Minister Hariri resigned on October 29 in response to protests against the ruling elite.

- With Agencies

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