Prime minister Saad Hariri meets Minister Gebran Bassil. Dalati Nohra
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The formation of a new government will take a long time because it is complicated by internal factors, mainly by caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's role in the process, political sources said Friday, dashing hopes for any imminent breakthrough in the Cabinet standoff, now in its second month.Bassil, who heads the Free Patriotic Movement's parliamentary Strong Lebanon bloc comprising 29 MPs along with its allies, is seeking to have 11 ministers, along with President Michel Aoun's share, in a 30-member government which Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is striving to form, the source said. According to the source, Hezbollah does not appear to be happy with Bassil's role in the government formation."There is no need for a meeting between Minister Bassil and Dr. Geagea if Bassil insisted on being above accountability and violating agreements," former LF MP Antoine Zahra told The Daily Star Friday. He was referring to the 2016 Maarab Understanding signed by Bassil and Geagea, which led to an inter-Christian reconciliation and contributed to Aoun's election as president in October 2016 . Zahra also accused Bassil of obstructing the Cabinet formation by interfering in the process through his rejection of the LF's push for key ministerial posts. The LF's request has been rejected by Aoun and Bassil.
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