Lebanese president reappoints prime minister

Lebanon's new president on Wednesday asked outgoing Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to form a new Cabinet despite reservations by the Hezbollah-led opposition, the AP reported.

President Michel Suleiman's appointment of Saniora had been practically ensured following a decision late Tuesday by the parliamentary majority to back him.

In his first comments following his appointment, Saniora called on Lebanese to "heal the wounds" of the past and pledged to try and form a government for all of Lebanon.

"I extend my hand to everyone, so that we can achieve for our country the prosperity we deserve," he said.

The Western-leaning parliamentary majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition agreed to form a national unity government under a deal that resolved a prolonged political crisis which pushed Lebanon to the brink of a new civil war.

The Arab League-brokered agreement gave the opposition veto power over all government decisions. However, the parliamentary majority was able to push through its candidate for prime minister over the opposition's objections.

The opposition - composed of the militant Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's bloc and the group of Christian leader Michel Aoun - quickly signaled its displeasure with the majority's decision.

The opposition considers Saniora a provocative figure who has rejected power-sharing in the past and they have often accused him of serving U.S. interests in Lebanon.

Aoun said after talks with the president that Saniora was not acceptable as premier, claiming he would stand in the way of reconciliation.

Mohammed Raad, leader of Hezbollah's 14-member bloc in parliament, said Saniora failed to meet the "necessary requirements" to head a national unity government. He indicated Hezbollah wanted another candidate who would reassure the group it could hold on to its weapons.

But the opposition controls 58 seats in the 128-member legislature and cannot outvote the majority's candidate, which practically ensured that Saniora would get the post.

Suleiman reappointed Saniora after 68 of the living 127 members of parliament he polled Wednesday said they supported him for the post.

Under Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system, the post of prime minister goes to a Sunni Muslim. The majority is headed by Sunnis while the opposition is led by Shiites.

Only one other candidate had been tipped for the job - majority leader Saad Hariri, the son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005.

While Hezbollah's and Berri's blocs didn't propose any candidates, Aoun nominated three other former ministers as compromise candidates to head the government, including a Sunni woman.

Hariri sought to allay opposition fears of Saniora's nomination, saying it wasn't meant to challenge anyone but was "an opportunity for the Lebanese to meet together, heal the wounds and start again."

Suleiman, formerly the army chief, was elected by parliament as a consensus president and sworn in on Sunday. His election was the first tangible step after the Arab-brokered deal to end Lebanon's 18-month political crisis.

The crisis earlier this month boiled over into street fighting, Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war. The clashes between Hezbollah's Shiite supporters and pro-government Sunni loyalists in Beirut and other areas left 81 people dead and more than 200 wounded.

After Hezbollah seized control of large parts of west Beirut in the fighting, it emerged politically strengthened and won the powers it wanted in government.

As president, Suleiman now faces the monumental task of uniting a wounded nation and reconciling its rival political factions.

The deal reached in Doha, Qatar on May 21 calls for a 30-member national unity Cabinet in which Hezbollah and its opposition allies have veto power over government decisions.

The agreement also allots the parliamentary majority 16 Cabinet seats and the opposition 11 seats, while three seats are to be distributed by the president.

Saniora has served as prime minister since July 2005, shortly after Hariri's assassination in a massive truck bombing in central Beirut. He had said he wanted to rest after three years in office. But on Tuesday, he changed his mind and said he would think before deciding, should the majority want him for the post.

Despite the new political arrangements, Lebanon remains uneasy. A Lebanese soldier was killed Tuesday during a gunfight between Hezbollah supporters and pro-government loyalists. And on Monday, nine people were wounded, two seriously, in a similar gunfight in Beirut between the two camps.

International programmatic ecosystem Admixer continues to develop on Georgian market
International programmatic ecosystem Admixer continues to develop on Georgian market
Turkmenistan working to digitalize consular service
Turkmenistan working to digitalize consular service
US-based IT Company EPAM  announces 14 vacancies in Georgia
US-based IT Company EPAM announces 14 vacancies in Georgia
Loading Bars
Armenia shells Goygol district, fire breaks out in forest - Ministry of Emergency Situations
Joint technical committee to be set up related to Khudafarin & Giz Galasi hydro junctions
ADB approves loan to support Georgia’s economic recovery
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan increases value of its agricultural production
Turkmenistan plans to increase natural gas supplies to China
Armenian servicemen, who fire at civilians in Azerbaijan’s Barda, killed on battlefield (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shoots down two Su-25 of Armenia – Defense ministry
Aircraft of Azerbaijani Armed Forces not involved in today's battles - Defense Ministry
Turkish Airlines to launch multiple charter flights to Georgia
Georgia's economic growth rate to up
Armenia used cluster bombs prohibited by all int'l conventions to attack civilians in Barda - Assistant to First Vice President of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s all Smerch multiple rocket launchers fully operational – Defense ministry
Azerbaijan's Zangilan city liberated not long before 27-year anniversary of its occupation
Azerbaijan hands over bodies of soldiers, captured civilians to Armenia - president's aide
Azerbaijan bombing maternity hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh's Khankendi - fake
Top Iranian cleric condemns Armenia killing innocents in Azerbaijan's Barda city
Azerbaijan to become regional leader in energy efficiency - EU4Energy manager
Assessment of Turkmenistan's hydrocarbon resources published
Barda is beautiful and strong with reinforced determination - top official
Azerbaijani MPs to observe parliamentary elections in Georgia
Georgian vegetable oil company Qarva expanding its business
Assistant to Azerbaijani president, foreign diplomats visit Tartar
Kazakh-Chinese bitumen plant opens tender to buy electric materials
Neighboring countries increase demand to buy subsidized Iranian products
IFRC president makes statement on death of volunteer following Armenia's Barda shelling
Azerbaijan gives update on civil casualties, damages, following Armenia's attacks
Eni’s capex almost halves year-on-year
Criminal case opened on fact of Armenia's missile attack on Azerbaijan's Barda
Destroying historical monuments in Karabakh - against cultural identity of Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijani prosecutor general discloses number of victims of Armenian terror
OSCE MG either unable or uwilling to solve Karabakh conflict - Erdogan
IFRC Europe Office makes statement on Azerbaijani volunteer killed as result of Armenian shelling
Launch process for water and electricity facilities in Iran continues
Azerbaijani Armed Forces driving away Armenian troops like dogs – Assistant to president
Armenian Armed Forces cowardly flee from battlefield – Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment maintenance
Generation capacity Iran's power plants grows
Armenia hostile to entire Islamic world, says Algerian analyst
LUKOIL optimistic about prospects for co-op with Turkmenistan
Heavily injured in Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan's Barda, brought to Baku
Azerbaijani FM’s visit to Geneva postponed
Foreign diplomats arrive in Barda, which is still under fire by Armenian troops (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan condemns publication of Charlie Hebdo about Turkish president - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani oil prices decrease
New refrigeration facility for food opens in Georgia's Kakheti region
To liberate occupied lands, Azerbaijani Army striking military targets, but without harming civilians - MoD
Eni increases natural gas production at its Kazakhstan-based fields
Winter wheat planting completed in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region
Armenian leadership to be held accountable - Prosecutor General (PHOTO)
Loans to entrepreneurs increased in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan
ANAMA reveals details of Armenian attacks on Azerbaijan's Barda
Central Banks of Iran announces volume of foreign currency put up for sale
Assistant to Azerbaijani President arrives in Barda, Tartar together with diplomatic corps (PHOTO)
Foreign exchange reserves of Azerbaijan's CB increase
Ambassador of France in Azerbaijan makes statement on Armenian missile attack on Barda
Industrial production increased in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
Certain facilities launched in Iran’s water and electricity sectors
Belarusian airlines announces another suspension of flights to Turkmenistan
New York Times prepares article covering Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijani Barda
Eni lowers oil&gas output amid COVID-19, OPEC+ commitments
Azerbaijani General Prosecutor's Office assessing damage to liberated territories
Iran to boosts gas production
Armenia grew narcotic plants in occupied Azerbaijani territories - Ecology Ministry
Debris of missiles fired at Azerbaijani Barda (PHOTO)
Targeting innocent civilians shows that Armenia prefers cruel, hideous methods of warfare - Azerbaijani embassy in US
Equinor sees increase in natural gas sales volumes
Turkmenistan organizes charter flight from Russia’s Tatarstan amid COVID-19
TCCI meeting with special emphasis on 'Supporting Azerbaijan' to be held
Equinor’s liquids, gas production up due to new fields
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 31
Military equipment left on battlefield by Armenian Armed Forces (VIDEO)
Progress achieved in upgrading energy system - Int'l Energy Charter Secretary General
Solar panels to be installed on school roofs in Georgia
Artillery fire aimed at civilians is crime against Azerbaijani people, against humanity as whole - International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for October 29
Georgia expects increase in bread prices
Azerbaijani-Turkish unity and strategic alliance have today reached highest level - President Ilham Aliyev
Nokia's third-quarter results miss expectations
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulatory letter to President Erdogan
Equinor reduces output from Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block
High-ranking Armenian officers annihilated - Azerbaijan Defense Ministry
ICRC gives statement on Azerbaijani volunteer killed as result of Armenian shelling
Armenia's attacks on civilians discussed during Baku-Istanbul teleconference held be Trend News Agency (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani FM holds phone conversation with British minister
Iran must support to Azerbaijan fully - Iranian MP
War call of Armenian catholicos is beyond church canons - Albanian-Udi community's head
Oil inches up after 5% slide overnight as hurricane shuts U.S. output
Iranian currency rates for October 29
Armenian Armed Forces fired on Azerbaijan's Goranboy, Tartar districts - MoD
IFRC volunteer killed in Barda as result of Armenian shelling - top official
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan to strengthen co-op by increasing volume of export-import operations
Footage of Gubadli region's Giyasli, Saryyatag villages liberated from occupation unveiled (VIDEO)
SOCAR expected to see 25% haircut to cash
Assistant to Azerbaijani President due in Barda, Tartar together with diplomatic corps
Switzerland supports territorial integrity of Azerbaijan - Switzerland's FM
SOCAR's liquidity to remain manageable, if its operations continue uninterrupted
Phone conversation held between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, EU High Representative
SOCAR’s assets, exports not to be damaged from Karabakh conflict
SOCAR’s EBITDA expected to decline in 2020
Destroyed military equipment of the Armenian army - LIST
All news