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Omar Karami, former Lebanese prime minister, dies aged 80 Open in fullscreen

Al-Araby al-Jadeed/AFP

Omar Karami, former Lebanese prime minister, dies aged 80

Omar Karame served twice as prime minister of Lebanon [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 January, 2015

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The veteran politician was thought to be suffering from stomach cancer.

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Lebanon, Karame,

Omar Karami, Lebanon's first post-war prime minister and a staunch ally of the Syrian government, has died at the age of 80, his family announced on Thursday.

"With great sadness... the Karami family announces the death of the great Omar Abdel Hamid Karami," they said in a statement.

Family sources said Karami had died of stomach cancer.

His health had been deteriorating for the past two years, and he was admitted to hospital a month ago, falling into a coma a few days before his death.

Karami came from a Lebanese Sunni political dynasty - his father was one of the architects of Lebanon's independence in 1943 - and served as prime minister twice.

     With great sadness... the Karame family announces the death of the great Omar Abdel Hamid Karame.
- Karame family statement


But both his terms ended with him resigning under public pressure.

His first term began in 1990, and was marked by the huge challenges of rebuilding the country after its 15-year civil war.

He stepped down in May 1992 after massive protests against rising living costs caused by the collapse of the Lebanese pound against the dollar.

He was succeeded by Rafiq Hariri, a billionaire who orchestrated massive reconstruction projects throughout Lebanon.

Karami's second term began in 2004, but he was forced to resign the following year after the assassination of Hariri.

Hariri's death provoked a political firestorm in Lebanon, including accusations that Syria's government was involved in the murder.

Karami was educated in Cairo, and was married with four children, including son Faisal, a former minister. 

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