June 13 - Lebanon PM: New government to liberate land under occupation of 'Israeli enemy'
Article: Israel And The Last Days
Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced on Monday a long-delayed new government dominated by allies of Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which is likely to cause alarm among Western powers. Mikati was appointed to form a government after Hezbollah and its allies toppled Western-backed former premier Saad al-Hariri's coalition in January over a dispute involving the United Nations backed tribunal investigating the assassination of statesman Rafik al-Hariri, Saad's father.
"Let us go to work immediately according to the principles and basis that we have affirmed our commitment to several times, namely ... defending Lebanon's sovereignty and its independence and liberating land that remains under the occupation of the Israeli enemy," Mikati said at the Baabda Presidential Palace.
Mikati, who says he is politically neutral, said the Lebanese government would seek to maintain positive ties with all Arab countries.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been fighting a popular revolt against his 11-year rule, telephoned Mikati to congratulate him, Lebanese media said. Syria is a strong ally of Hezbollah, the main player in the political coalition which helped bring Mikati to power in January.
"This government is committed to maintaining strong, brotherly ties which bind Lebanon to all Arab countries without exception," Mikati said.