December 18, 2018 / 9:16 PM / in a month

U.S. hopes Lebanon's next government will work with it - State Dept official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States hopes Lebanon’s next government will work with it on areas of mutual interest, a State Department official said on Tuesday, and expressed concern over Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah’s rising clout in the country.

“We hope Lebanon’s next government will build a stable and secure Lebanon that is committed to peace, responsive to the needs of the Lebanese people, and working with the United States on areas of mutual interest,” the official told Reuters.

Lebanon is expected to form a new national unity government in the next few days, politicians said on Tuesday, raising hopes for an end to more than seven months of wrangling that has darkened the outlook for its struggling economy.

Hezbollah is expected to get three ministries in the upcoming cabinet for the first time, instead of two, including the health ministry.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by James Dalgleish

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