Following several weeks of difficult negotiations, the parties in Lebanon today formed a new government. The new cabinet, which must be approved by Parliament within 30 days, consists of 30 ministers, of which 16 were nominated by the previous government majority March 14, 3 by the President and 11 by the opposition alliance. Fouad Siniora remains Prime Minister.
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a statement welcoming the agreement in Berlin today (11 July):
"Following the presidential elections and the re-opening of Parliament, the formation of the new government is a further key step towards ending the political crisis in Lebanon. The country thus has effective democratic institutions for the first time since November 2006.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister Siniora, who successfully conducted the difficult negotiations with the parties.
The new government faces major challenges, not least the imposition of law and order all over Lebanon and reform of electoral law before the next parliamentary elections in the coming year.
The German Government will continue to support Lebanon along this path. A stable and sovereign Lebanon is an important contribution towards stability and security in the entire region."