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New Lebanese govt. to prioritize protesters demands

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has expressed hope that a new government will be formed in the coming days, more than a fortnight after Prime Minister Saad Hariri tendered his resignation amid mass protests demanding departure of the ruling elite.

Aoun wrote on his official Twitter account on Thursday that he hopes such an ideal would happen “once hurdles in the processes of tasking a new prime minister and government formation are removed.”

The demands of the protesters will be among the first goals of the incoming government, he highlighted.

Meanwhile, Lebanese caretaker Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab has warned that the cash-strapped Arab country was in a “very dangerous situation,” and compared the ongoing anti-government protests and street unrest to the start of the civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities.

He stressed that demonstrators had the right to protest and to be protected, but the army and security services could not tolerate violence.

On Wednesday, a high-ranking official from the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah warned that the United States and its allies in the Middle East were taking advantage of the anti-government protests in the country in order to attain their own political objectives.

Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush said his movement distinguishes between the righteous demands of protesters and the political schemes of those who are exploiting the mass protest movement to achieve their own goals.

“It is wrong to confuse the sufferings of people and their real demands with the political projects, which seek to take advantage of the state of corruption in the country.”

“It is now clear that the United States and its allies have infiltrated into the ranks of the protest movement, and are trying to guide it. They have a political plot that they want to impose on Lebanon. The economic and corruption issues in Lebanon are their last concerns,” Damoush said.