Iran General NewsSyria, Iran 'blocking Lebanon government'

Syria, Iran ‘blocking Lebanon government’

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ImageAFP: Hezbollah's backers Iran and Syria are hindering the formation of a cabinet in Lebanon, which has been without government since a general vote in June, Christian leader Samir Geagea said on Monday. ImageBEIRUT (AFP) — Hezbollah's backers Iran and Syria are hindering the formation of a cabinet in Lebanon, which has been without government since a general vote in June, Christian leader Samir Geagea said on Monday.

"The regional forces that support the parliamentary minority have no interest in seeing a government formed for the moment," Geagea told AFP.

Geagea, whose Lebanese Forces are part of the US- and Saudi-backed parliamentary majority, said Tehran and Damascus have been obstructing the efforts of prime minister-designate Saad Hariri through their Lebanese proxy, Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

"Perhaps they expect a more favourable situation in which they can reap more benefits" on the international level, he said.

He was referring to Iran's atomic drive and Syria's efforts to improve ties with the United States.

"Hezbollah is not serious when it says it wants to facilitate the formation of the government," Geagea added.

Since late June, Hariri has failed to form a government and bridge differences between his own bloc and the opposition, led by Hezbollah.

The Hezbollah-led alliance accuses the majority of trying to rule unilaterally, while Hariri's parliamentary majority charges that its opponents want to impose their demands on the new government.

One of the major points of contention has been the inability to agree on the distribution of portfolios and choice of ministers.

The stalemate has been widely blamed on tension between the two camps' regional backers, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Both countries, however, recently buried the hatchet over Lebanon and jointly called for the formation of a cabinet.

Syria was the powerbroker in neighbouring Lebanon for nearly 30 years until the 2005 murder of Hariri's father, Rafiq Hariri, who was close to the Saudi monarchy.

Western countries as well as the United Nations have voiced concerns over the deadlock which they fear could affect the country's economy and lead to a security breakdown.

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