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Lebanese prime minister says ‘country’s spring is near’

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati voiced hope Monday that crisis-stricken Lebanon would soon exit its current difficult situation.

“Lebanon’s spring is near, God willing,” Mikati told reporters before meeting with Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi.

Following the meeting, Mikati said he briefed the patriarch over his contacts on the election of a new president for Lebanon.

“Without a political solution, it is not possible for Lebanon to exit the current crisis,” Mikati said.

Hopes have run high across Lebanon following the resumption of diplomatic relations between regional arch-foes Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both countries have influence over Lebanon’s political rivals.

Many observers believe that the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement will lead to ending the current political stalemate in Lebanon.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.

The country has been unable to elect a new president since October 2022 to replace former President Michel Aoun since amid differences among political rivals.

Lebanon has also been without a fully functioning government since May last year, with Mikati and his Cabinet having limited powers in their current caretaker status.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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