Bassil meets Iraqi counterpart, utters optimism over government’s imminent formation

Outgoing Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Wednesday he was optimistic about the approaching formation of the government, stressing that the different parties will be represented in a fair way.

Bassil made these remarks at the joint press conference he held with his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim Jaafari, at the Foreign Ministry.

"God willing, we will have a new government soon, and the important thing is that this government be productive," he said. "We have achieved a fair representation of all the parties, thanks to criteria that apply to all, which will allow, upon the decision of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, the government to be formed. We can congratulate the Lebanese already."

Asked about the portfolio of justice, the outgoing minister replied that he were not eligible to reveal this and that "this is not the place to discuss the [government] details."

Tackling the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Bassil pointed out that it was necessary to "wait for the results of the investigation" before giving an official position.

The minister, who had discussed with Jaafari the regional situation and bilateral relations, also congratulated his counterpart for the election of a new president in Iraq and the appointment of a Prime Minister, wishing that the latter can quickly form his government.

He also emphasized the similarities between the two countries and their peoples, particularly in their ability to communicate and dialogue, "which enabled them to defeat extremism and terrorism..."

Bassil wished other countries would follow the example of Lebanon and Iraq and opt for dialogue and political solutions to settle the crises of the region, in particular that in Syria.

For his part, Jaafari said the war on terror had not been "traditional" thanks to the popular mobilization in Iraq. "Just as Hezbollah is behind the success of the resistance in Lebanon, popular mobilization is behind that in Iraq," he said.

The Iraqi Minister finally focused on the common interests of Lebanon and Iraq, assuring that Baghdad would not hesitate to cooperate with Beirut in the oil field and noting that "both countries aspired to the spread of peace, security and stability in the region."

Source: National News Agency