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Arab League: ‘Lebanon sliding towards unknown’

April 30, 2020 at 3:00 am

Demonstrators protest against country’s economic conditions, on 28 April 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon. [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

The Arab League warned on Wednesday that Lebanon is sliding towards the unknown, following bloody confrontations between the army and protesters.

This came in a statement issued by the Arab League, of which Anadolu Agency obtained a copy, following the death of a protester and the injuries of others during clashes between protesters and the army, in the city of Tripoli, northern Lebanon.

The Arab League expressed deep concerns regarding: “The accelerating developments in Lebanon, and the dangerous escalation in the streets between the masses of demonstrators and the army in Tripoli.”

The statement indicated that the Arab league: “Hopes that the army command and the security services would have enough wisdom to act responsibly and professionally as required, to prevent Lebanon from sliding towards the unknown.”

The statement explained that: “The ongoing financial, economic and banking crisis in Lebanon requires decisive and immediate measures… It is clear that the situation in the streets is getting dangerous, as no further delay can be tolerated in this regard.”

The statement called on the Lebanese government to: “Accelerate the decision-making process in order to come up with practical and quick steps for economic reform that can meet the legitimate demands of the Lebanese people.”

In the same context, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab revealed on Wednesday that the government’s economic and financial plan will be examined this week.

READ: Nothing seems able to end Lebanon’s social divisions and struggles 

The National News Agency (NNA) quoted Diab, during his meeting on Wednesday morning with a delegation of the Association of Banks headed by Salim Sfeir, stating that: “The Association of Banks in Lebanon will be informed about the economic and financial plan after its approval.”

The delegation stressed that: “The Association of Banks in Lebanon will present its plan for economic and financial solutions to the government within a maximum of 15 days.”

The Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) denounced: “The continuous abuse of private and public property, especially the banks’ headquarters and branches,” while reasserting that these actions are “by all means unacceptable and unjustifiable”.

The ABL also called on Diab to put an end to the vandalism as soon as possible.

On Tuesday, a protester died and several were injured during clashes between the Lebanese army forces and demonstrators in the city of Tripoli, during protests denouncing the ongoing social and economic crisis in the country.

Popular protests have also broken out in Beirut and Sidon on Monday evening over the deteriorating living conditions.

Since 17 October, 2019, Lebanon has witnessed popular protests, as demonstrators demanded political and economic reforms. Thus, the protesters have occasionally closed major roads and government institutions.