New government within days if positive atmosphere persists: Lebanon's parliament speaker

Speaking about the future of Lebanon, Berri said the country could not go on with leaders viewing matters from a sectarian lens

  
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri wears a face shield as he walks at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon August 31, 2020.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri wears a face shield as he walks at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon August 31, 2020.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday said a new government could be formed in four or five days if the "positive atmosphere" around the formation process persisted, according to a statement from his office.

“The upcoming government may see the light of day,” Berri said during a meeting with a student delegation from the Saint Joseph University.

Speaking about the future of Lebanon, Berri said the country could not go on with leaders viewing matters from a sectarian lens.

“It is time for the Lebanese to belong to their country before they belong to their sect. Yes, sects are a blessing, but sectarianism is a curse,” he said.

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has been actively engaging with political leaders over the formation of the government since his appointment last week, seeking to speedily form it so the process of reform can begin, followed by unlocking international financial aid to pull Lebanon out of its catastrophic economic and financial state.

Berri also reiterated that normalization of relations between Lebanon and Israel was not possible as the two countries hold indirect talks over the delineation of their borders.

The second round of US-mediated indirect talks under UN auspices was held Wednesday in south Lebanon, and is set to continue Thursday morning.

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