Lebanon forms new Cabinet

Feb. 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Lebanon has formed a new Cabinet, split between Western-leaning factions and those led by Hezbollah, the government said Saturday.

The Cabinet is the outcome of 10 months of talks that took place as the situation in neighboring Syria continued to spiral downward.

Hezbollah supports the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad while the West has called for Assad's departure.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam said the makeup of the new Cabinet was a workable balance, the BBC said.

"After 10 months of efforts, of patience, a government protecting the national interest is born," Salam said on Lebanese television. "It is a unifying government and the best formula to allow Lebanon to confront challenges."

Salam, a centrist, insisted the new Cabinet was committed to maintaining stability in Lebanon, which would create an atmosphere conducive to a timely presidential election and continued political dialogues among Lebanon's different factions, the (Lebanon) Daily Star said.

The newspaper said Salam proposed rotating ministry positions on a regular basis among the country's different political parties in order to "liberate ministries from sectarian chains."

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