Lebanon: Cabinet approves diplomatic appointments

Lebanese ministers during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential palace, in Baabda, Lebanon, (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Lebanese government smoothly approved the diplomatic appointments after political parties agreed on a quota. The decision only faced a shy objection concerning the Future Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement’s decision to name eight non-staff members as diplomats.

Ministerial sources said that all parties were pleased with the shares they received during the diplomatic appointments, although Minister Gebran Bassil received the lion’s share by naming ambassadors in each of France, the US and Italy, while “Hezbollah” was left outside the diplomatic equation.

The Future Movement received the highest number of embassies in the Arab countries, in addition to the “Permanent Mission of the Lebanese Republic to the UN” in Geneva, and the UNESCO. The Lebanese Forces was capable to name ambassadors in Bern, Madrid, Muscat and Manama, while the Amal Movement of Speaker Nabih Berri received each of London, Tehran, Baghdad, Brussels and Kuwait. President Michel Aoun named an ambassador in Oman.

Gaby Issa was chosen as ambassador to the US while Rami Adwan will be assigned as ambassador to France.

Shawki Abu Nasser and Rami Mortada were assigned to Moscow and London, respectively.

A ministerial source said that three women were chosen for diplomatic posts: Mira Daher will be assigned as Ambassador to Italy, Amal Mudallali to the United Nations and Sahar Baassari to UNESCO.

Following the cabinet session, Information Minister said “the official announcement of the new ambassadors will be made in successive statements issued by the Foreign Ministry following the approval of concerned countries of the names of ambassadors.”