Lebanon 'will get out of hell', Aoun says of crisis
"The government will begin addressing peoples' concerns... we will get out of hell and rise from the abyss we are in," Aoun told An-Nahar newspaper shortly after the cabinet announcement.
The new cabinet announced Friday afternoon aims to end 13 months of uncertainty, as Lebanon has been without an official government since August of last year when the previous one resigned in the wake of the massive Beirut port explosion.
A devastating economic crisis has confounded the country's woes, with three-quarters of Lebanon's population living in poverty, according to the UN.
Three-time premier Najib Mikati will head a 24-member cabinet after it gains the vote of confidence. It will be the fourth cabinet in Aoun's presidential tenure.
The Lebanese president told An-Nahar his country was "living under siege" because of decade-long turmoil in neighbouring Syria and Western sanctions on trade with the Syrian government.
Lebanon, which has a population of less than seven million, hosts approximately one million Syrian refugees.
The Lebanese authorities have been accused by human rights groups of mistreating Syrian refugees, through forced deportations and failure to assign them legal status.
Aoun also said Lebanon’s relations with Syria were "imperative."
A ministerial delegation visited Syria last week to discuss a 2009 agreement that would allow energy-deprived Lebanon to import gas and electricity via Syrian territory. It was the first visit of its kind in 10 years.