New Lebanese cabinet meets

Lebanon's new cabinet is preparing to seek parliament's approval, saying its priority is to arrange quick elections.

    Prime Minister Najib Miqati's cabinet laid out its priorities

    The 14-member cabinet held its first meeting on Wednesday after it was formed by Prime Minister Najib Miqati, ending a nearly two-month government crisis and opening the way for crucial parliamentary elections.

    The cabinet emphasised its commitment to cooperate with a UN investigation into the killing of former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

    The elections are supposed to take place before parliament's term ends on 31 May. The anti-Syrian opposition expects to win the vote and end the domination of pro-Damascus lawmakers.

    UN investigation

    Information Minister Charles Rizk said the cabinet's priority would be to "uncover the truth about al-Hariri's assassination in collaboration with an international investigation commission" and to prepare "as soon as possible, a new electoral law" as well as to work to revive Lebanon's economy.

    The UN is sending a team to investigate al-Hariri's death in a massive 14 February bomb blast.

    His assassination sparked massive anti-Syrian protests, forcing the removal of prime minister Umar Karami and his cabinet.

    Miqati's cabinet on Wednesday formed a panel to draw up a policy statement on the basis of which it will seek the parliament's endorsement.

    The drafting committee, made up of Miqati and six other cabinet members, will meet immediately to begin drafting the policy statement, Rizk said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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