BEIRUT: Kuwait's new emir said Monday his country would remain by Lebanon’s side during his reign, while receiving condolences for the passing of the late emir from Lebanon’s top three officials.
“Kuwait during my reign will remain by Lebanon’s side and will continue its path of support,” Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah said, according to statement from the Lebanese presidency.
President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab and caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe met Sabah shortly after arriving in Kuwait City, offering their condolences for the passing of the late Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who passed away last week.
Aoun said the late emir was a wise, moderate ruler who “always stood by Lebanon at Arab and regional gatherings.” He wished the new emir good luck with his new responsibilities.
Political sources said that Aoun and Berri would take the opportunity of flying together to Kuwait to discuss how to push ahead with forming a new government, in light of the ongoing deadlock over designating a new prime minister. It has now been 56 days since Diab resigned over the Aug. 4 port explosion, and nine days since PM-designate Mustapha Adib stepped down after he was unable to break the impasse.
Aoun has not appointed a replacement PM-designate and will reportedly make his next move depending on the outcome of his inflight talks with Berri.
“Depending on the outcome of his talks with Berri, President Aoun will either decide to set a date for binding consultations with parliamentary blocs to appoint a new prime minister, or opt to confer first with blocs to reach a consensus beforehand on a new premier before setting a date for the binding consultations,” one source political source familiar with the matter told The Daily Star Sunday.
Adib stepped aside on Sept. 26 after his attempts to form a small 14-member Cabinet of non-partisan specialists to implement key reforms hit snags on insistence by the two main Shiite groups, the Amal Movement and Hezbollah, on retaining hold of the Finance Ministry. The two groups also insisted on naming Shiite members of the new Cabinet, which ran contrary to Adib’s intention to select members of his Cabinet by himself.
The Daily Star