Shifting geopolitics offer glimmer of hope for Lebanon’s new government

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Beirut updates

After squabbling for more than a year in a country with an economy in freefall, Lebanon’s political and financial clans just greenlighted a new government. Yet nothing suggests Lebanon will escape the sectarian dynasties and superannuated warlords who have plundered its treasury, confiscated the wealth of its middle classes and wielded power without responsibility for decades.

The latest government, succeeding the one that resigned in August last year after a giant stockpile of chemicals exploded in the port of Beirut, leaving central districts of the capital in shreds, is headed by Najib Mikati, a billionaire telecoms tycoon who has been premier twice before.

It is a mix of technocrats and placemen, nominated by the country’s Shia, Sunni, Christian and Druze power brokers. In this latest compromise, the puppeteers ostensibly share power without…

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