Talks in Lebanon to form a new cabinet are set to begin Monday. Hezbollah pulled support from the government over opposition to a tribunal investigating the 2005 Rafik Hariri assassination.
While the collapse of its coalition government throws Lebanon back into political turmoil, this latest crisis for a nation accustomed to strife is unlikely to turn violent on the streets.
With Prime Minister Saad Hariri planning to return to Lebanon late Thursday from a globetrotting series of meetings with world leaders, consultations to select a new prime minister and form a new cabinet are expected to begin Monday. Still, finding a solution will not be easy given the bitter political divide in Lebanon over how to handle an international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former prime minister and father of the current premier.
“This country does not have a mechanism to deal with this kind of conflict if there’s no regional agreement of some kind,” says Karim Makdissi, a professor of politics at the American University of Beirut (AUB). “I don’t see how any faction in Lebanon can gain from this. I think it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone…. And of course ordinary people across all the [Lebanese] regions and sectors are going to suffer.”
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