U.N. hopeful for Lebanese government

Oct. 16, 2009 at 10:46 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The political sentiment among lawmakers in Beirut suggests a national unity government is forthcoming, the U.N. special envoy to Lebanon said.

Michael Williams said following meetings with Lebanese opposition leader Michel Aoun that he expected "decisive steps" in the coming weeks on the next government in Beirut.

"We believe a positive spirit is prevailing, after earlier delays that we were concerned about, but I am confident that progress can be made in the coming days," Williams said in statements released by his office in Beirut.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri led his March 14 slate to a narrow victory over the March 8 opposition in June parliamentary elections, pledging to form a unity government quickly.

Ministerial disputes and political defections, however, derailed his efforts, forcing him to resign briefly following a decision to move ahead with a Cabinet without opposition consent.

Political dialogue has brought encouraging developments as Aoun expressed his support for "the open dialogue" from leading lawmakers.

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