Lebanon's Prime Minister-Designate Resigns


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Lebanon's prime minister-designate has stepped down.

Mustapha Adib has been unable to form a new government to replace the cabinet that resigned after the deadly, massive explosion in Beirut's port last month.

On Saturday, Adib said in a televised speech, "I apologize for not being able to continue the task of forming the government."

He had been in lengthy negotiations with the country's various political factions, but they were unable to reach a consensus.

Adib's resignation is a setback for French President Emmanuel Macron, who has tried to help usher in a new government in the crisis-ridden former French colony.

A Macron official described Adib's resignation as "a collective betrayal" by the country's political parties.

"It is indispensable to have a government capable of receiving international aid," the unnamed official said. "France will not abandon Lebanon."

While opponents of Adib accused him of not consulting more closely with political factions to form a new cabinet, former prime minister Saad al-Hariri, an Adib supporter, said those applauding Macron's setback "will bite your fingers in regret."

The explosion at Beirut's port August 4, which killed at least 200 people, injured thousands and left more than 250,000 homeless, was blamed on the detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been improperly stored for six years at the port.

The blast, which many blamed on Lebanon's political elite, sparked political and economic devastation and exacerbated previously existing problems in the country.