Lebanon announces government after months of deadlock

Lebanon announced the formation of a government on Thursday ending over eight months of wrangling amid heightened fears of a major economic collapse. The Western-backed Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri now faces a big challenge in delivering the reforms needed to address dire public finances and unlock billions of dollars in pledged aid and loans to boost growth. Hariri, who will head a 30-member cabinet said bold moves were needed without delay to address chronic problems facing the heavily indebted state. “We are facing economic, financial, social and administrative challenges,” Hariri said at a press conference in Beirut after the announcement. “It has been a difficult political period, especially after the elections, and we must turn the page and start working,” he said.

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