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Lebanese foreign minister resigns as economic crisis deepens

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, right, looks to the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, as they don’t shake hands to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at the Government House, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, July 23, 2020. Le Drian is in Lebanon for two days visit to meet with Lebanese officials and top politician leaders. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Lebanese Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti submitted his resignation on Monday to protest the government’s poor performance, warning that Lebanon could become a “failed state.”

Hitti said he wished government members would reconsider many policies and practices to prioritise the interests of the citizens and the country.

If those in power did not work towards the interests of the Lebanese people “to rescue them, then the boat, God forbid, will sink with everyone,” Hitti said in a statement.

“Lebanon today is not the same that we cherished and wanted as a beacon and a model. Lebanon today is slipping into becoming a failed state,” Hitti added.

Hitti submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

A Lebanese government source said that Hitti’s resignation was also the result of Diab undermining the foreign minister’s position during last month’s visit by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“Hitti felt he was being marginalized regarding certain regional issues,” the source, who requested anonymity, told dpa.

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Diab, supported by the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and their main ally Lebanese President Michel Aoun was appointed to form a government on December 19 amid nationwide mass protests against corruption and for economic reforms.

In January, Diab formed his 20-member cabinet which vowed to tackle an ongoing economic crisis, which has been the worst to hit the country since the 1975-90 civil war.

(dpa/NAN)

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