Lebanon gets pro-Hezbollah Cabinet

June 13, 2011 at 5:19 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 13 (UPI) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati Monday named a 30-member Cabinet dominated by the Hezbollah-led alliance, saying it would serve the whole country.

The lineup was announced by Cabinet Secretary General Suheil Bouji at the Baabda presidential palace, The Daily Star of Beirut reported.

"The motto of this government is 'All for the country, all for work,'" Mikati said.

Michael Williams, U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, congratulated Mikati, as did Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is battling a revolt in his country.

Mohammad Safadi was named finance minister, Adnan Mansour foreign minister, Fayez Ghosn defense minister and Marwan Charbel interior minister. Hezbollah will be represented by Mohammad Fneish and Hussein Hajj Hassan.

One of the appointees, Talal Arslan, immediately quit, accusing Mikati of discriminating against the Druze community and other minority groups in doling out seats. Cabinet seats are assigned by religious group.

The highway leading to Arslan's southern village of Khalde was blocked by supporters shooting rounds in protest.

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