Lebanese Prime Minister Omar Karami formed a largely pro-Syrian 30-member Cabinet that includes rival militia leaders in an effort to prevent Lebanon's bloody 15-year civil war from starting anew.
Karami, after a day of deliberations with President Elias Hrawi and House Speaker Hussein Husseini, said Monday he included rival militia figures to facilitate the dissolving of militia infrastructures."We appointed militia leaders as Cabinet members in order to make them feel secure," Karami said in a statement.
Although Samir Geagea, chief of the Christian Lebanese Forces militia, was named a minister of state, his group issued a strongly worded statement, castigating the new Cabinet as "a de facto" one.
Others named ministers of state included Nabih Berri, chief of the mainstream Shiite Amal militia, Elie Hobeika, a former commander of the Lebanese Forces and present chief of a pro-Syrian group, Suleiman Tony Franjieh, the grandson of former President Suleiman Franjieh, and Druze chieftain Walid Jumblat.