Middle East

Lebanese prime minister-designate calls for cooperation to 'salvage the country'

Mikati's remarks on Lebanon's economic crisis have come after he was named to form new government by Lebanese president

Wassim Seif El-Din and Ali Rezzakoglu   | 23.06.2022
Lebanese prime minister-designate calls for cooperation to 'salvage the country' Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati ( Photo Credit: Lebanese Governmental Palace )

BEIRUT, Lebanon

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati affirmed Thursday that "opportunities are still available to salvage what can be saved, in the country," referring to the severe economic crisis Lebanon has been going through for over two years.

This came in a news conference at the Presidential Palace and marked Mikati's first comment after he was named by Lebanese President Michel Aoun to form a new government after securing needed parliament votes.

Mikati said: "We have to be aware that we are facing either a complete collapse or a gradual rescue, and in the past months we knocked the door of salvation via the agreement with the International Monetary Fund."

"However, the agreement with the IMF can be amended, we must cooperate with the parliament to approve the required bills before continuing negotiations with the IMF," he said.

Mikati thanked those who voted for his assignment, as well as those who did not.

"This assignment gives me double confidence and we must all cooperate to save our country from what it is floundering in," he added.

He also called on all political forces to assume "historic responsibility to complete the salvation process."

Mikati's assignment was expected days ago, and came after a long day of binding parliamentary consultations at the Presidential Palace in the capital Beirut.

Where Mikati competed with politician Nawaf Salam, who served as Lebanon's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN between July 2007 and December 2017.

Billionaire Mikati, 66, received the support of 54 out of 128 parliament seats, while 46 deputies did not name anyone. Salam won 25 votes, while former Prime Minister Saad Hariri received only one vote.

For nearly two and a half years, Lebanon has been witnessing a severe economic crisis, the worst in its history, which led to a financial and livelihood collapse amid a scarcity of fuel, medicine, and other basic commodities.

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