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The New Arab Staff

Lebanese PM-designate Hariri meets Qatari emir during visit to Doha

Hariri (pictured) met with Qatar's Emir and foreign minister [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 18 February, 2021

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister designate met with Qatar’s Emir during a two day visit to the Gulf country.

Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri met with Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Wednesday as part of a two-day visit to the Gulf country.

The meeting focused on reviewing the latest developments in Lebanon, including efforts to form a government, according to Qatar News Agency.

Qatar's Emir emphasised Doha's support for Lebanon, urging that Beirut's political parties "prioritise national interest" and act "swiftly to form a new government" capable of addressing the multiple crises facing the country.

Hariri also met with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdurrahman Al-Thani, who pledged Doha's continued support for Lebanon.

The two discussed bilateral relations, including economic issues, in their meeting.

Qatar's top diplomat made a surprise visit to Beirut last week, during which he affirmed that Doha's aid to the cash-strapped country would continue, but that it would not host reconciliation talks.

Hariri is expected to visit the UAE next, according to Lebanese daily al-Joumhouria.

The Future Movement leader was given the task of forming a government in Lebanon after former Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib resigned in September, six days after a devastating explosion shook the port of Beirut.

He has struggled to assemble a cabinet to share power with all Lebanese parties, including Iran-aligned Hezbollah.

Lebanon's politicians remain at loggerheads on how to adopt a roadmap to end corruption, a key demand from the IMF to release billions of dollars in aid.

The county has been under strict lockdown since mid-January, after an unprecedented spike in cases blamed on holiday gatherings that forced overwhelmed hospitals to turn away patients.

Read also: Lebanon begins Covid-19 vaccination drive

A gradual ease of coronavirus restrictions started on Monday 8 February, despite the country having recorded 315,340 coronavirus cases, including 3,495 deaths.

Late last month, the country saw several days of clashes in the impoverished northern city of Tripoli, with protesters angered by a lockdown they said was starving them.

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