Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri speaks after announcing the new cabinet at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, November 9, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
BEIRUT, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese new Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced the formation of Lebanon's new cabinet on Monday night, bringing an end to the five-month cabinet impasse following the June parliamentary elections.
"Finally, the national-unity cabinet is formed," Hariri said after the meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Monday night to present the cabinet lineup proposal for the second time.
"We turned a new page that we hope will be one of agreement and cooperation in Lebanon," said Hariri, "this cabinet ensures that we are up to the challenges we are going to face."
Hariri added that the new cabinet will face the economic problems of the country, launch a major legislative workshop, put a limit to corruption and fully implement the Taif Accord.
"(We are looking forward to) a cabinet which can restore Lebanon's role in the Arab region," said Hariri.
In the meantime, Fouad Siniora, the caretaker Prime Minister, announced to resign.
The new cabinet is formed on the basis of 15-10-5 formula, which means that in the total 30 seats of the cabinet, 15 portfolios go to the Western and Saudi-backed majority, 10 to the opposition and five to President Suleiman.
The country's Shiite armed group Hezbollah, which is a dominant power in the Iran-and-Syria-backed opposition, holds two seats in the new cabinet, the Agriculture Ministry and State Ministry for Administrative Reform.
It took more than four months to form the national unity cabinet after Hariri was designated as prime minister in late June. Hariri said he would form a national unity government including both the majority and the opposition. However, his mission had been delayed time and again as the rival blocs kept bargaining on the portfolios in the new cabinet.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri pays his respects at the grave of his father, assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, in Beirut November 9, 2009. Saad al-Hariri handed in a new national unity government list to President Michel Suleiman on Monday that includes two ministers from the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah, officials said.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
This time-consuming process came to the end last Friday as the leaders of the opposition bloc agreed on Hariri's cabinet lineup proposal.
Hariri presented a cabinet lineup proposal to Suleiman for the first time in September, while it was rejected by the opposition. Hariri stepped down but was re-designated as PM one week later.
Sources close to the cabinet formation process said that the final formation of the cabinet came after Saudi King Abdullah's meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus in October, a sign of rapprochement of the two regional powers both having big influence in Lebanon since 2005 when Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated.