Lebanon's Foreign Minister Resigns as Economic Crisis Worsens

Nassif Hitti is the first minister to leave Hassan Diab's embattled government, and is apparently unhappy with its handling of Lebanon's deepening financial crisis

The Associated Press
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Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti speaks at a  news conference  in Amman, Jordan, July 2, 2020.
Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti speaks at a news conference in Amman, Jordan, July 2, 2020. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
The Associated Press

Lebanon's foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.

Minister Nassif Hitti's submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.

A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was reportedly unhappy with the government's performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.

Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.

It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.

Hitti's resignation is a blow to Diab's government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

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