BEIRUT:Lebanese President Michel Aoun has hailed the formation of a full-fledged government after 13 months of political gridlock, stating that his cash-strapped and crisis-ridden Arab country would “climb out of the abyss.”
“We will get out of hell and we will rise up from the abyss that we are in,” Aoun told a group of local reporters after he signed a decree with Prime Minister Najib Mikati appointing a 24-member cabinet charged with halting Lebanon's economic meltdown.
He said the first task of the new Lebanese government was to address shortages of essential goods, particularly bread, fuel and medicines, blaming “siege and sanctions” for the crisis.
Aoun also said he did not acquire veto power in the new cabinet lineup, dismissing claims he had made such a demand as part of “a political war” against him.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lauded the appointment of a new government in Lebanon as a “very important step” for the country, wishing Mikati “the best success.”