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Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Accelerates Effort to Form Cabinet

Three months after being appointed Lebanon’s prime minister-designate, Najib Mikati remains stymied in his attempts to form a new government. The remaining roadblock is the appointment of an interior minister, a portfolio being demanded by two separate factions participating in the unity cabinet. On Wednesday, Parliament speaker Nabih Berri called the stalemate “bizarre” and urged the parties to resolve the issue quickly in order for the nation to be in position to deal with the challenges it faces. Mikati was appointed with backing from Hizbullah which brought down the previous government headed by Saad Al-Hariri over the issue of cooperation with the United Nations probe into the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri.