Lebanon’s President Aoun calls for proclamation of ‘secular state’

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President Michel Aoun called Sunday for the proclamation of a “secular state” during a televised address to mark the upcoming centenary of the Lebanese state.

“I call for the proclamation of Lebanon as a secular state,” Aoun said during a speech in which he acknowledged the need “to change the system,” after an enormous explosion at Beirut’s port in early August and months of deepening economic crisis.

Amid the political deadlock gripping Lebanon, the country’s ambassador to Germany Mustapha Adib is emerging as the frontrunner to be next prime minister.

Former Prime Ministers Naiib Mikati, Fouad Siniora, Saad Hariri and Tamam Salam, announced in a statement on Sunday that they have agreed to nominate Ambassador Mustapha Adib to head the next government, according to the National News Agency NNA.

They hoped in their statement that “Adib would be named with the highest number of votes from the parliamentary blocs and representatives,” stressing the need for a speedy government formation and drafting of its ministerial statement “without delay.”

Meanwhile, both Shia groups Hezbollah and Amal will also nominate Adib to be the next prime minister, according to a senior Shia source, Reuters reported.

Adib is Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany.

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