Damascus Questions Delay in Government Formation: Syrian Leadership Not Interfering in the Process


Damascus’s visitors reported that high-ranking Syrian officials are questioning the delay in the formation of the Lebanese government “seeing as there are no reasons that should cause a delay,” reported the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat Saturday.

“The officials stressed that the Syrian leadership is not concerned with the details of the government and it does not intervene in the formation, but it urges all its allies to present mutual concessions to facilitate the formation,” they told the daily.

The visitors added that the officials refuse to name a preferred ministerial candidate, saying instead that all candidates are Damascus’s friends.

“The Syrian leadership is complaining over the confusion in the formation process where optimism prevails at certain moments and then it suddenly decreases without any justification,” they noted.

“It appears that some sides are stalling even though some justifications for the delay no longer exist especially after the March 14 camp announced its boycott of the government,” they continued.

Furthermore, the excuse calling for delaying the formation until the release of the indictment in the investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri also no longer stands seeing as the decision will most likely be released in the summer, the visitors said.

“Syria has some reservations on the officials responsible for forming the government over their indecision,” some of Damascus’s allies were quoted as saying.

The officials also questioned why Miqati and his allies have not reached an understanding on the structure of the government and distribution of portfolios.

The delay may be caused by the fact that the March 8 camp has never experienced the process of forming a one-sided government, which brings about several complications including several candidates vying for a position in Cabinet, they noted

“The harmony between the new majority does not justify attempts from within to monopolize portfolios,” the visitors said.

They added that Miqati should take the opportunity and engage Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun in deep negotiations to settle disputes.