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February 19, 2022 2:09 pm

Lebanon Needs to Step Up on Reform, Says Saudi Foreign Minister

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at the State Department, in Washington, US, October 14, 2020. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Saturday Lebanon must offer stronger signals that it is serious about reform to secure support from the international community as it struggles with a financial crisis.

“Lebanon first needs to be actively saving itself… We need a stronger signal from the Lebanese body politic that they are going to step up,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said at the Munich Security Conference.

He said this included stabilizing the economy and addressing issues of corruption and mismanagement as well as “regional interference and loss of state sovereignty.”

Lebanon’s ties to the Arab Gulf and particularly Saudi Arabia, formerly a major donor to Beirut, hit rock bottom last year over what the Saudi foreign minister said was the growing influence of Iran-allied Hezbollah in the country.

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