Beirut: Lebanese President Michel Aoun appealed to Arab neighbours on Tuesday for help to revive his country’s economy, driven to the brink of collapse after weeks of unrest that have brought down the government.
Aoun met with Arab ambassadors in Beirut to discuss Lebanon’s ongoing upheaval, according to his Twitter account. He’s scheduled to speak live on television at 8.30pm local time.
Attempts to secure financial assistance from Gulf allies have so far come up empty. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s finances are becoming ever more precarious as it suffers shortages of foreign currency and even fuel, while struggling to attract bank deposits, a key source of funding for the government.
The president is leading the search for a new government after the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The premier had been backed by Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom gradually withheld support as the influence of Iranian-backed Hezbollah over the government grew. It ignored Hariri’s pleas for financial aid to avert a looming debt crisis.
Aoun also met with representatives of the International Support Group, which was created in 2013 and includes the United Nations and the governments of China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the UK and the US. The president has yet to schedule binding parliamentary consultations to name a new premier who would then form a government.