Bassil: It would be crazy if Mikati doesn’t form new government before October 31
Lebanon- The war in Ukraine and rising demand for natural gas around the world helped speed up a U.S.-mediated maritime border deal between Lebanon and Israel, FPM leader Gebran Bassil told the Associated Press in an interview at his office.
“It would be a crazy act” if caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati does not form a new government before the six-year term of President Michel Aoun ends Oct. 31.
“We do not need in addition to our financial and economic crisis, a political crisis that splits the people on how to deal with the government,” Bassil said about the possibility of the government taking over once Aoun leaves office. He added that not forming a Cabinet will lead to “constitutional chaos.”
“We will not accept that such a government runs the country. This is a Cabinet that did not win a vote of confidence and lacks constitutional legitimacy,” Bassil said.
“Although the demarcation agreement is not a normalization process with Israel, but it helps us, you know, to restore more stability in the region where we need to attract the investors,” Bassil said.
“I think that the equation established with the strength or the force of Hezbollah and the threat to use it is what helped,” Bassil said.
It is the gas era and Lebanon should not be outside of it,” Bassil said, adding that demand for gas around the world triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since late February helped seal the deal.
“We had the guarantees, clearly, from the U.S. and also from France and Total that once this is done ... Total as block operator will restart its petroleum activities offshore Lebanon,” Bassil said. He was referring to the French oil giant Total that hopes to start drilling in block number 9 along the border once the agreement is signed.
Bassil also said during the interview that he is appealing the case in the U.S. by contacting the Treasury Department demanding that details of his file be made public.