Hariri's visit to Cairo highlights Lebanon's urgency to form a new government

The prime minister-designate pushes for reconcilation between Egypt and Turkey

A handout picture provided by the Lebanese photo agency Dalati and Nohra on November 7, 2019 shows caretaker prime minister Saad Hariri addressing the press after his meeting with the president at Baabda presidential palace, east of the capital Beirut. - Hariri met President Michel Aoun and said that consultations were ongoing with all political players but gave no details. (Photo by - / DALATI AND NOHRA / AFP) / === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / DALATI AND NOHRA" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ===
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Egypt wants Lebanon's leaders to settle their differences and speed up the process of forming a new government, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El Sisi told Saad Hariri on Wednesday.
Mr El Sisi wants Lebanon's next government to be independent and equipped to deal with "current challenges" and safeguard the country's national fabric, a statement after the meeting said.
Mr Hariri was named prime minister-designate in October, when he promised to form a government of technocrats to introduce the reforms needed to unlock foreign aid.

Politicians have been bickering over the shape of the new government after the resignation of the Cabinet since  the Beirut port explosion in August.
That, and the coronavirus pandemic, have plunged Lebanon deeper into an economic crisis.

Sporadic street protests against the unwavering grip on power by a perceived clique of political dynasties have contributed to the country's instability.

Egypt rushed assistance to Lebanon following the explosion, setting up a field hospital in Beirut to treat the injured and airlifting tonnes of raw materials to help the rebuilding effort.

It has also sent medical supplies to help with efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest aid shipment to Lebanon from Egypt arrived in January, when Health Minister Hala Zayed flew to Beirut in a flight of three transport aircraft carrying medical supplies and milk powder.
In Beirut, a senior member of Mr Hariri's Future Movement told The National on Wednesday that the aim of the prime minister-designate's Cairo visit was to push forward his efforts to resolve differences between Egypt and Turkey.

“Egypt is a regional force, and reconciliation is very important to ensure some stability or entente in the region,” said Moustafa Allouche.

That, if achieved, would be likely to bring a measure of stability to Lebanon, he said, alluding to the widely held notion that regional rivalries have frequently spilled over into Lebanon.

Egypt has been at odds with Turkey for about a decade, with Cairo accusing Ankara of supporting extremist Islamic groups across the region and sowing instability. The two countries also back rival parties in the conflict in Libya.