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Lebanon new Gov't consultations to begin Monday

BEIRUT, Dec 15 (KUNA) -- Consultations between Lebanese President Michel Aoun and parliamentary blocs to form a new government in Lebanon will formally begin on Monday. President Michel Aoun and several key partners in the fractious outgoing governing coalition had apparently insisted on reaching a deal before announcing the start of formal talks with Lebanon's parliamentary blocs.
Moreover, Lebanon's Free Patriotic Movement will back a new government made up entirely of technocrats, but not with caretaker Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri at its head, its leader Gebran Bassil said.
"Should Hariri insist on the 'nobody but me' approach, and should Hezbollah and Amal Movement hold on to a techno-political government led by Hariri, we have no interest in partaking in such a Cabinet as it is doomed to failure," he said.
The caretaker prime minister wrote to leaders of several countries last week seeking help to keep up the import of essential goods into Lebanon.
Al-Hariri told the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund's top executives on Thursday that he was committed to preparing an urgent rescue plan to alleviate the country's worsening economic crisis.
He discussed the technical assistance they could provide for such a plan and asked for increased financial support from the World Bank's International Finance Corporation to ensure the country's imports are uninterrupted amid a deepening foreign currency crisis.
Al-Hariri's call came a day after an international group of Lebanon's allies said the country cannot expect to receive aid unless a new government is formed to institute major reforms.
Al-Hariri has supported the call for a government of technocrats but remains the most likely candidate to head one. (end) ayb.haq