Lebanon government formed after 10-month stalemate

An image grab from the Tele Liban shows Lebanese prime minister-designate Tammam Salam, adressing the media to announce from the presidential palace in Baabda, the formation of a new Lebanese government following a 10-month vacuum. -- PHOTO: AFP
An image grab from the Tele Liban shows Lebanese prime minister-designate Tammam Salam, adressing the media to announce from the presidential palace in Baabda, the formation of a new Lebanese government following a 10-month vacuum. -- PHOTO: AFP/HO/TELE LIBAN

BEIRUT (AFP) - Lebanon on Saturday formed a compromise government after a 10-month stalemate in the country, which has seen the war in neighbouring Syria exacerbate longstanding political divisions.

"After 10 months of efforts, of patience, a government protecting the national interest is born," said Tammam Salam, Lebanon's new prime minister.

"It is a unifying government and the best formula to allow Lebanon to confront challenges," said Mr Salam, who was tasked with forming the government back in April 2013 after the resignation of his predecessor Najib Mikati.

The new government will include both the powerful Shiite Hizbollah group and its allies and the Sunni-led bloc of former prime minister Saad Hariri.

The two blocs sharply differ on a range of issues, including the war in Syria, where Hizbollah backs the government with fighters and Hariri's bloc supports the opposition.

The new government also faces a deteriorating security situation in Lebanon, which has been rocked in recent months by a spate of car and suicide bomb attacks linked to the war in Syria.

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