Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati announced on Friday the formation of a new cabinet of 24 ministers, breaking over one year of political deadlock in the crisis-torn country, according to Lebanon’s Presidency.
Mikati spoke to reporters at Baabda Palace, swearing that he will stop the country’s collapse and spare no efforts to get in contact with international organizations to secure the country’s basic needs, MTV local TV channel reported.
“We will work seriously on serving all people regardless of their sects,” he said.
Mikati added that he will exert all possible efforts to restore Lebanon’s ties with the Arab countries, saying that Lebanon belongs to the Arab world.
The Lebanese pound surged following the formation of the government, trading at around 15,000 Lebanese pounds to $1 while it was trading at 18,150 Lebanese pounds to one dollar in the morning, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Lebanon has been without a government since the resignation of the cabinet of caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab on August 10, 2020, following the Beirut port’s explosions which killed more than 200 and wounded thousands of others.
Over the past two years, Lebanon has witnessed a series of crises, including the Beirut port blasts, the outbreak of Covid-19, and the shortage in US currency reserves which deprived citizens of their basic needs including fuel and medicines.
Lebanon’s multiple crises plunged 74 percent of the population into poverty, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA).
Lebanon is in dire need of a new cabinet to implement structural reforms and sign a deal with the International Monetary Fund to unlock billions of dollars in international aid.