UAE central bank mulls financial aid to Lebanon

UAE central bank mulls financial aid to Lebanon as US announces cuts
2 min read
03 November, 2019
The UAE’s Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri said his country was 'conducting a study' to investigate recommendations to Emirati authorities in light of recent developments in Lebanon.

The UAE hosted Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri just days before his resignation [Getty]
The UAE is mulling over an option to provide Lebanon with financial aid, authorities said on Sunday, just days after the US announced its decision to cut millions in military aid.

The UAE’s Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri said his country was “conducting a study” to investigate recommendations to Emirati authorities “in light of recent developments in Lebanon”.

However, the Emirati official said there was no agreement on specific issues.

The remarks came after the US State Department told Congress that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to cut foreign military assistance, US officials told Reuters.

Washington has long provided aid to strengthen Lebanon's army, viewing it as a critical institution to provide stability in the country.

The US has also repeatedly expressed concerns over the growing role of Hezbollah in the government.

Lebanon's prime minister Saad Hariri submitted his government's resignation on Tuesday, bowing to nearly two weeks of unprecedented nationwide protests against corruption and sectarianism.

Protesters have insisted on a complete overhaul of the country's sectarian-based governance and celebrated the emergence of a national civic identity.

One of the main chants heard at the protests has been "all of them means all of them", calling for the resignation of the entire political class without exception.

More than 25 percent of the Lebanese live in poverty, the World Bank says.

Economic growth in Lebanon has stalled in recent years in the wake of repeated political crises, compounded by an eight-year civil war in neighbouring Syria.

The country faces one of the highest debt ratios in the world, at $86 billion or more than 150 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.


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