January 31, 2019 / 4:37 PM / 6 months ago

Hezbollah picks Lebanon's new health minister - source

BEIRUT, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Lebanon’s Hezbollah has picked Shi’ite doctor Jamil Jabak as the health minister in a new national unity government, a source familiar with the make-up of the government said on Thursday.

By picking the health minister, Hezbollah will be moving beyond the more marginal role it has played in past governments: the ministry has the fourth-biggest budget in the state apparatus, the outgoing minister has said.

A deal on the formation of a new government was clinched on Thursday, three political sources from different factions said earlier, ending nine months of wrangling.

Though picked by Hezbollah, sources have said Jabak is not a member of the heavily armed, Iran-backed group, which is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States. (Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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