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[Published: Monday August 03 2020]

 Lebanon foreign minister resigns

BEIRUT 3 Aug (ANA) - Lebanon's Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Hassan Diab, saying the country risked becoming a "failed state" and the government showed a lack of reformist will.
"I participated in this government on the basis that I have one employer named Lebanon, and I found in my country many employers and conflicting interests," Hitti said in his resignation letter, made public on Monday.
"If they don't come together around the interests of the Lebanese people and save them, then the ship, God forbid, will sink with everyone on board."
In his resignation letter, Hitti chided the "absence of a vision for Lebanon as I believe in it as a free, independent and capable nation" and the absence of a "real will to achieve structural reforms ... which our national society asks for and the international community are calling on us to do".
"Lebanon today is sliding towards becoming a failed state," he wrote.
The letter also implicitly criticised Hezbollah, a major backer of Diab’s government, by calling for a need for Lebanon to strengthen its ties with the "Arab community" and be "radiant in its Arab environment".
Lebanon’s formerly strong ties with Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, have been harmed by the growing role of the Iran-backed group in Lebanese politics and in regional conflicts, including the war In Yemen.
In a statement on Monday, the Lebanese prime minister's office said Diab met Hitti and "accepted the resignation on the spot", adding that it is "examining options in order to appoint a new minister".(ANA)
FA/ANA/3 August 2020---------

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