After nine months of trying to form a new government, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced on 15 July that he is giving up on his efforts and is stepping down from his position. Hariri resigned after holding a brief meeting with President Michel Aoun, explaining he had been unable to reach an agreement with the head of state as he demanded fundamental adjustments to the cabinet line-up. “It is clear we will not be able to agree with His Excellency the President,” Hariri told the media after meeting with Aoun for close to 20 minutes. “That is why I excuse myself from government formation,” he said. Lebanon is currently suffering from a major economic depression, which has been described by the World Bank as one of the most severe in modern history as in less than two years the Lebanese pound has plunged in value by more than 90 percent. Hariri was designated to form a new government last October, after Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned in the aftermath of the devastating 4 August Beirut Port explosion.