Intensive talks under way over new Lebanese government

Intensive talks are underway between political parties in Lebanon in an effort to quickly form a government and contain public anger after the massive Beirut port blast, political sources told dpa. The news comes after Hassan Diab resigned as prime minister on Monday amid protests over the blast that killed 165 people and wounded 6,000 others.

"All efforts are being exerted to name a new premier and form a government before 1 September, when French President Emmanuel Macron is due to return to the country for political talks," the sources told dpa.

Previously, Macron visited Beirut on 6 August, two days after the port blast. He met Lebanese leaders and toured the devastated areas.

"The new premier must be able to form an emergency government to contain the anger of the people that is why he needs to be from outside the current Lebanese ruling class," one Lebanese lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told dpa.

"He needs to restore the Lebanese people's trust," he added.

Leaders are currently struggling to map a way out of the country's worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. The Lebanese parliament is due to meet on Thursday to discuss the aftermath of the blast and ways to avoid the country entering a political vacuum. 

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