Hizbullah Chief says new Lebanese government belongs to all factions

Lebanese Hizbullah movement Secretary General Syed Hassan Nasrallah has strongly turned down the latest allegations made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Hizbullah controls the Lebanese government and said the new government belongs to all political factions participating in it.

“The Israeli premier is provoking the United States, European countries and the [Persian] Gulf states against the Lebanese government, claiming that it is controlled by Hezbollah. Such false claims have serious international repercussions,” Hassan Nasrallah said as he addressed his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital Beirut on Monday evening.
He underscored that the new Lebanese government consists of various political parties, and that Hezbollah is just one of them. In response to certain media reports that the new health minister is a member of Hezbollah, Nasrallah pointed out that Jamil Jabak, who is a doctor by profession, is solely close to the resistance movement, but not a member of it.
His remarks echoed that of Hezbollah’s deputy chief, Sheikh Naim Qassem, who had said a day earlier that only three of Lebanon’s new government ministers were members of Hezbollah, adding, “We are only 10 percent [in the Lebanese cabinet].”
Elsewhere in his speech, the Hezbollah chief emphasized that the Health Ministry in the new national unity government must strive to supply medicine and health care to people from all walks of life.
He called on the new government to be transparent, advising Lebanese politicians to make decisions, which would best serve the interests of the Arab country and its nation.
The Hezbollah secretary general also urged Lebanese political figures to stick to political calm after the formation of the new national unity government, asking them to resolve their differences through dialog and negotiations.
He said the fight against corruption must be the top priority of the new government in Beirut.

NEW CABINET FORMED IN LEBANON AFTER A DELAY OF NINE MONTHS

Lebanon’s Council of Ministers Secretary General Fouad Fleifel has announced names of new 31-member cabinet, including 29 ministers and state ministers led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and a deputy prime minister.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s new government was announced following around nine months of strenuous negotiations that involved several obstacles. Hariri presented list to President Michel Aoun after Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea accepted to cede the culture portfolio to Speaker Nabih Berri and a long-running obstacle over the representation of the Hizbullah-backed Consultative Gathering was resolved.

The new government comprises of: Prime Minister: Saad Hariri (al-Mustaqbal Movement); Deputy PM: Ghassan Hasbani (Lebanese Forces); Foreign Affairs: Jebran Bassil (Free Patriotic Movement / President Aoun); Defense: Elias Bou Saab (FPM / Aoun); Justice: Albert Serhan (FPM / Aoun); Economy: Mansour Bteish (FPM / Aoun) – Energy: Nada al-Bustani (FPM / Aoun) – Environment: Fadi Jreissati (FPM / Aoun) – Presidency Affairs: Salim Jreissati (FPM / Aoun) – Displaced: Ghassan Atallah (FPM / Aoun) – State Minister for Foreign Trade Affairs: Hassan Mrad (Consultative Gathering / Aoun)
– Tourism: Avedis Guidanian (Tashnag Party)
– State Minister for Refugee Affairs: Saleh al-Gharib (Lebanese Democratic Party)
– Health Minister: Jamil Jabaq (Hizbullah) – Sport and Youth: Mohammed Fneish (Hizbullah) – State Minister for Parliament Affairs: Mahmoud Qmati (Hizbullah)
– Education: Akram Shehayyeb (Progressive Socialist Party)
– Industry: Wael Abu Faour (PSP)
– State Minister for Information Technology Affairs: Adel al-Afiouni (Miqati’s bloc)
– Interior: Raya al-Hassan (Mustaqbal)
– Public Works: Youssef Fenianos (Marada Movement)
– Labor: Camille Abu Suleiman (Lebanese Forces)
– State Minister for Administrative Development: May Chidiac (LF)
– Finance: Ali Hassan Khalil (AMAL Movement)
– Culture: Mohammed Daoud (AMAL)
– Telecommunications: Mohammed Shuqeir (Mustaqbal)
– Social Affairs: Richard Kouyoumjian (LF)
– Agriculture: Hassan al-Laqqis (AMAL)
– Information: Jamal al-Jarrah (Mustaqbal)
– State Minister for Social and Economic Rehabilitation of Youth and Women: Violet Khairallah Safadi (Mustaqbal)
– State Minister for Administrative Development Affairs: May Chidiac (LF)
Addressing the Lebanese after the line-up’s announcement, Hariri apologized to citizens over the delay and noted that the country is facing “economic, financial and service-related challenges in addition to the Israeli threats.”

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