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Lebanon's Hariri intends to visit Iraq after formation of both gov'ts

Saad Hariri
Saad al-Hariri

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri announced his intention to visit Baghdad after the formation of the governments of Iraq and Lebanon.

A statement issued by the Information Office of Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said that he met with Hariri in Beirut and discussed bilateral relations and ways of developing them to serve the interests of the two brotherly countries.

During the meeting, Hariri stressed his country's keenness to strengthen cooperation with Iraq.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said on Thursday that a government would be formed very soon as political parties intensified negotiations to break a deadlock more than five months after elections.

The government is expected to be formed during the weekend, a government source told Reuters.

Hariri has been negotiating with Lebanon's rival parties since a parliamentary election in May to form a new power-sharing cabinet, but they have so far been unable to reach consensus.

The major parties have jostled over the number of cabinet seats they should get and over the apportionment of the most powerful ministries. In recent days stepped-up talks between leaders have increased optimism that the deadlock may soon be broken.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul Mahdi is also working on forming his cabinet, with his choices for ministerial posts expected to be announced sometime next week.

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