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Italy calls for new govt in Lebanon, polls next year

17 maggio 2021 | 20.15
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Italy's deputy foreign minister Marina Sereni on Monday urged Lebanon's squabbling politicians to form a new executive that can launch reforms to unlock foreign cash amid the country's economic collapse.

"Lebanon is facing multiple challenges and is in need of thoroughgoing, structural reforms to meet the most urgent needs of the population," Sereni said in a statement.

The statement followed talks Sereni held in Beirut with crisis-hit Lebanon's president, Michel Aoun during a two-day visit to the country.

"These (reforms) can no longer be postponed and a government that has full powers is needed to be able to implement them," the statement went on.

Lebanon's government resigned in the wake of the devastating 4 August blast at Beirut's port that killed over 200 people. The previous government has been acting as a caretaker administration amid stalled cabinet talks between Aoun and three-time premier Saad al-Hariri.

Hariri was designated to form a new government in October but he and Aoun disagree over the cabinet line-up.

"For this reason we renew our invitation to all the political parties to cooperate on the formation of a new executive that can also restart negotiations with the International Monetary Fund," the statement added.

Hariri was designated to form a new government in October but has been locked in a stand-off with Aoun over the cabinet line-up.

Italy will support any initiative that can help overcome the stalemate and "that puts the safeguarding Lebanon's population at its centre," said the statement.

"Equally crucial is the need for democratic mechanisms to continue to function regularly. We therefore hope that efforts are made to hold elections scheduled for 2022", the statement concluded.

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