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  • » 07/06/2005, 00.00

    LEBANON

    Aoun's refusal to join Lebanon's new government complicates its formation

    Youssef Hourany

    In an interview with AsiaNews the Christian leader accuses Jumblatt. Amal and Hizbollah want Foreign Ministry to block UN resolution on the latter's disarmament.

    Beirut (AsiaNews) – General Aoun's refusal to join Lebanon's new government unless his party gets the Justice Ministry is complicating the political situation in Beirut. "The government has imploded even before being set up," Aoun said in an interview with AsiaNews.

    The Christian leader, who says he does not want to be in the cabinet unless his demands are met, accuses Druze leader Walid Jumblatt without naming him for the decision.

    "The one who is responsible for what has happened is behaving as if he were the leader of the parliamentary majority rather than Prime Minister-designate Fouad Siniora," Aoun said.

    "Those who have opposed my nomination as Justice Minister are themselves open to prosecution and their files could become a national case," he added.

    Aoun stressed that the largest party led by Saad Hariri was interested only in the Finance and Interior Ministries and explained why he wanted the Justice Ministry, namely to restore the judiciary's independence.

    He wonders why this sudden concern over a Ministry no one wanted before. In his opinion, this interest "shows that those who are attacking us are involved in the cases [that could go before the courts] and that some people do not want us to cooperate with Saad Hariri within the framework of a government of national unity".

    In response to a question about his decision's effect on a possible crisis, General Aoun said that "it was up to Fouad Siniora and the President, General Emile Lahoud".

    As to a possible compromise, his answer left little doubt. "Under these conditions, negotiations are impossible. Some people do not know the basic principles of politics. What's more, they never assume their responsibilities; instead, they raise obstacles without proposing any positive solutions".

    Clouds looming over the new Lebanese governments have become even darker after the pro-Syrian Shiite parties of Hizbollah and Amal demanded the key Foreign Ministry. For some observers, this demand would allow them to block the road to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which demands Hizbollah's disarmament—until now, Hizbollah has rejected the demand.

    Siniora has however turned down their request on the grounds that the Foreign Ministry was led in the last few years by a Shiite, Mahmud Hammud (who is close to Amal), and must now go to another community as required by the principle of rotation among the country's major religious groups.

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    See also

    02/07/2005 LEBANON
    Siniora considers how to form the first government of a free Lebanon

    A difficult task in a tense situation; last night, one person was killed in a shootout between Christians of opposing factions



    15/02/2010 LEBANON
    Commemorating Rafik Hariri’s death, demanding answers from March 14 leaders
    More than 100,000 people gather to commemorate the death of former PM Hariri. Speaking to the crowds, leaders reiterate in measured tones the alliance’s goals. However, banners appear, asking, “What have you with my vote?”

    31/05/2007 LEBANON – UNITED NATIONS
    Decision to set up international tribunal greeted with fireworks and bombs
    Lebanon’s ruling coalition welcomes Security Council decision as opposition remains silent. Syria, which occupied Lebanon for 30 years, questions the decision it claims “violates Lebanese sovereignty.”

    21/09/2007 LEBANON
    A country in mourning looks to the future with anxiety
    On the day Antoine Ghanem is laid to rest, the Lebanese government calls on the United Nations and the Arab League to protect the upcoming presidential election. Saad Hariri and Nabih Berri talk on the phone.

    17/06/2008 LEBANON
    Secretary Rice brings US backing to Suleiman and Siniora
    The US secretary of state’s short stop in Lebanon shows Washington is “present” in the Doha agreement and Lebanon’s presidential election. Clashes between pro- anti-government supporters in Bekaa Valley result in three dead and four wounded.



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