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Lebanese FM Nassif Hitti resigns amid economic crisis Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Lebanese FM Nassif Hitti resigns amid economic crisis

The economic crisis is compounded by the loss of income caused by the pandemic. [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 August, 2020

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Dissatisfied with the government's performance, Lebanon's foreign minister handed in his resignation amid an economic crisis.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti on Monday submitted his resignation to the country's premier, citing the government's "lack of willingness for reforms".

In a statement distributed to local media, the foreign ministry quoted Hitti saying Lebanon was becoming a "failed state".

"Lebanon today is not the Lebanon we loved, that we wanted to be a beacon and model, it is slipping to become a failed state - God forbid," Hitti said.

The absence of an effective will to implement real structural reform – a key demand for a potential bailout by the international community – was also a reason for Hitti's resignation.

"I resigned from my duty as foreign minister, hoping that the government and those who manage the state re-evaluate many of the policies and practices, and give priority to citizens and the nation over all other interests and contradictions," Hitti said.

Read also: Lebanon's oligarchs crashed the economy, now they're making the people pay

In a stark metaphor, Hitti said Lebanon was a sinking ship as its leaders did not unite for the interest of the Lebanese people, but intsead sought their own. 

Lebanon is grappling its worst economic crisis since the end of the 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. After defaulting on its $1.2 eurobond debt in March, the government entered talks with the International Monetary Fund seeking $10 billion in financial assistance. But negotiations have since stalemated. 

Hitti was appointed as foreign minister as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab's government in January. According to MTV Lebanon, his potential replacement is Charbel Wehbe – a former ambassador to France and an advisor to President Michel Aoun.

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