Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gaza: online reactions

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Rise of the Robots

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza, From Bad to Worse? With no Ceasefire in Sight, Conflict Spillover Felt Elsewhere (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza, From Bad to Worse? With no Ceasefire in Sight, Conflict Spillover Felt Elsewhere

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Best of Europe Now (Part 1)

Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Israeli soldier missing in Gaza, says media reports

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ suburb of Paris

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • France slams ‘anti-Semitic’ violence at pro-Palestinian rally

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more

  • Kristoff wins Tour’s flat Stage 15

    Read more

Middle east

New PM vows to defend Lebanon from Syria's war

Video by Adam PLETTS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-06

Lebanon’s new prime minister, Tammam Salam, on Saturday said he will work to unite the country and prevent the civil war in Syria from spilling over the border. Salam was named prime minister after receiving overwhelming parliamentary support.

A prominent Lebanese politician named prime minister on Saturday after receiving vast support from parliament said he will work to end divisions in Lebanon and prevent the civil war in Syria from spilling over into the country.

Following two days of consultations, President Michel Suleiman asked Tammam Salam to form a new Cabinet. The 68-year-old Beirut legislator and former culture minister was chosen for the job by 124 members of the 128-seat parliament.

Salam faces the challenge of holding Lebanon together amid rising sectarian tensions resulting from the civil war next door in Syria. The country’s two largest political blocs support opposite sides the fight between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and rebel fighters trying to oust him.

“I start from the necessity of taking Lebanon out of divisions and political tensions that were reflected in the security situation,” Salam said in his first public statement after being chosen.

He added that his job also will be to prevent threats from the “neighboring catastrophic situation.” Salam was trying to allay the fear in Lebanon that Syria’s two-year civil war, which has killed more than 70,000 people, will spread to Lebanon.

Salam said he would do his best to form a “national interest government,” a process that could take him a long time because of the sharp divisions among Lebanese politicians as a result of the Syrian crisis. He did not elaborate on the type of Cabinet.

Outgoing Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned last month over a political deadlock between Lebanon’s two main political camps and infighting in his government. Mikati, who was prime minister since June 2011, headed a government that was dominated by the militant Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group and its allies.

His abrupt departure plunged the nation into uncertainty amid heightened sectarian clashes related to Syria’s civil war.

Mikati stepped down to protest the parliament’s inability to agree on a law to govern elections set for later this year, as well as the refusal by Hezbollah and its allies in the cabinet to extend the tenure of the country’s police chief.

“I start from the point of uniting national visions and to quickly reach an agreement on a new elections law that gives justice of representation,” Salam said.

Although leaning toward the Western-backed anti-Hezbollah coalition, Salam, who is the son of the late former Prime Minister Saeb Salam, is seen as a consensus figure. Salam studied in Britain and has degrees in economics and business administration.

He was first elected to parliament for four years in 1996. He became minister of culture in 2008 under then prime minister Fuad Saniora.

He was elected to parliament for the second time in 2009 when he ran for a seat in Beirut and joined a Western-backed coalition led by former prime minister, Saad Harir.

(AP)

 

Date created : 2013-04-06

  • LEBANON

    Lebanon's PM announces government's resignation

    Read more

  • Lebanon

    Lebanon's pro-Syria cabinet under fire after Beirut bomb

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Spreading violence fuels Lebanon's political crisis

    Read more

COMMENT(S)