Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced the formation of a new Cabinet on Monday, dominated by the Shia militant group Hezbollah.
Lebanon has been operating for five months without a functioning government and opponents of Hezbollah believe that its involvement in the government will lead the country into international isolation.
Hezbollah’s patrons are the Iranian and Syrian governments, who will most definitely use their power over the group to renew their influence on the internal and external dynamics of the country.
This in itself would worry Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia, who see Iranian influence and meddling in the region as de-stabilising.
Designated as a terrorist organisation in the US, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, has threatened to cut US funds to the new government “as long as any violent extremist group designated by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organizations participates in it.” Since 2006, the US has given Lebanon $720 million in military aid.
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