In Lebanon, President Suleiman Franjieh has begun sounding out political leaders on the formation of a new Government to succeed that of Premier Takieddin Al-Solh, who resigned on Wednesday (25 September).
GV & CU Beit on Din Palace and guard (2 shots)
CU PAN Prime Minister Solh arrives
CU Fuad Ghosn arrives
SV PAN Hassan Rifai (short with glasses) arrives
GV Tony Franjieh arrives
CU Defence Minister Maalouf
SV Other ministers arrive including Bahige Takieddin (tallest) and Tefik Assaf (3 shots)
SV Ministers seated in anteroom
LV President Franjieh enters room
LV Guard outside
CU President Franjieh leaves meeting
CU Premier Solh seated
CU (SAME SHOT) Solh makes resignation speech
Initials BB/1857 WK/MR/BB/2030
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Background: In Lebanon, President Suleiman Franjieh has begun sounding out political leaders on the formation of a new Government to succeed that of Premier Takieddin Al-Solh, who resigned on Wednesday (25 September).
The Lebanese Premier resigned after a row over allegations that his 14-month-old Administration had failed to halt a deterioration of internal security or curb he soaring cost of living.
Mr. Solh's resignation has caused political uncertainty in the lebanon and the conflicting demands of the various political leaders and blocs are expected to make the task of forming a new Government difficult.
President Franjieh is not expected to begin formal consultations until early next week and has asked Mr. Solh and his Ministers to remain in office until a new Government is formed.
SYNOPSIS: Lebanese Premier Takieddin Al-Solh went to the Beit at Din Palace in Beirut on Wednesday to hand in his Government's resignation to President Suleiman Franjieh. The resignation followed heavy criticism of the Government's handling of the country's security situation and inflation.
Among the other Ministers who attended a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace were Fuad Ghosn, Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Works; Hassan Riafi, the Minister of Planning, the President's son, Tony Franjieh who is Minister of Posts; and Defence Minister Nasri Maalouf.
Two other Ministers who arrived at the Presidential Palace were Bahige Takieddin, Minister of Interior and Twefik Assaf, Minister of Petroleum and Industry. Both are members of the Popular Socialist Party which is opposed to the Solh Government.
Lebanon now faces a period of political uncertainty. Premier Solh's resignation, and the conflicting demands of the various political leaders and blocs are expected to make the task of forming a new Government difficult.
President Franjieh has asked Mr. Solh and his Ministers too remain in office until a new Government takes over. Among those tipped for the Premiership are two former Premiers -- Mr. Rashid Karami and Mr. Abdullah Al-Yafi. However, the President is not expected t to begin formal consultations until early next week.
Mr. Solh held a news conference at which he announced the resignation of his 14-month-old Government. He read his letter of resignation:
The resignation of Mr. Solh and his Government was not entirely unexpected as he had declared earlier in the week that he planned to resign following the earlier resignations of two of his Ministers and widespread criticism of his Government.