Lebanon’s Hariri says new cabinet, IMF necessary to halt collapse

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IslamNews – Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday after a meeting with President Michel Aoun that forming a government that could re-engage with the IMF was the only way to halt the country’s financial collapse.

The meeting took place after a heated exchange on Wednesday night between the two politicians, who have been at loggerheads for months over cabinet formation.

Aoun, in a televised speech, asked Hariri to form a new government immediately or make way for someone else. Hariri hit back by telling him that if he could not approve his cabinet line-up then he should call an election.

On Thursday, Hariri’s tone was more positive after saying a further meeting was scheduled for Monday and that he saw “an opportunity to be seized”.

“The main priority of any government is to prevent the collapse that we are facing today… that we proceed to start halting the collapse with the IMF and regain the trust of the international community,” he told reporters.

Lebanon’s talks with the IMF stalled last year over a row among government officials, bankers and political parties over vast financial losses.

The Lebanese pound has sunk by 90% in the country’s worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. It has plunged many into poverty and endangered imports as dollars grow scarce.

Source: Reuters

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