Cyprus FM calls on Lebanon to implement quick reforms

Cyprus FM calls on Lebanon to implement quick reforms
2 min read
During a visit to Lebanon, Cyprus' Foreign Minister called on the newly formed government to implement speedy reforms and secure international funding.
Nikos Christodoulides is the first foreign minister to visit Lebanon since the government formation [Getty]

The foreign minister of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus called on the Lebanese government Wednesday to implement reforms quickly in order for the international community to unlock aid for Lebanon that is witnessing one of the worst economic crises in the world in decades.

Nikos Christodoulides is the first foreign minister from the European Union to visit Lebanon after the Cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati took office last month.

Mikati had vowed after winning the vote of confidence to work for quick reforms in the small nation notorious for corruption that brought Lebanon to the verge of bankruptcy.

Lebanon's economic and financial crisis that started two years ago was described by the World Bank as one of the worst the world has witnessed since the mid 1850s.

"I do realize that Lebanon stands at a very critical crossroads and the new government has to face substantial challenges," Christodoulides told reporters after meeting his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib in Beirut.

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"It is paramount that the necessary actions and reforms be taken swiftly, in order for the international community to be able to unlock the aid it has pledged to Lebanon in the past," Christodoulides said.

Lebanon resumed contacts with the International Monetary Fund in recent days and hopes to resume talks over a bailout package with the international institution over the coming weeks.

The talks have been suspended since last year.