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    In Beirut Egypt FM supports ‘security’ of Lebanon, avoids meeting Hezbollah


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    Egypt’s foreign minister has said that Cairo is keen on the security and stability of Lebanon and the formation of a new government to resolve the state of political deadlock.

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    Speaking at a press conference in Beirut Sameh Shoukry said that Egypt would spare no effort to continue supporting Lebanon as its stability is vital for the region.

    Egypt supports a government formed by Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri, Shoukry said at the conference, and avoided meeting with Gebran Bassil and Hezbollah so as not to “perpetuate the Iranian occupation,” vdl news reported.

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    Al-Hariri was nominated in October following the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab last August after the Beirut port explosion, but he has failed to form a new cabinet because of the political deadlock between him and President Michael Aoun.

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    The US, EU and Arab countries discussed earlier this month imposing sanctions on certain Lebanese politicians who are responsible for not forming a government needed to oversee vital reforms as Beirut tried to attract international aid.

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    READ: HRW warns Lebanon may exclude refugees, migrants from COVID- 19 vaccination

    Thousands have taken to the streets in Lebanon to demand an independent government to lift the country out of its economic crisis amid the failure of officials currently in power.

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    Lebanon’s financial crisis, exacerbated by the port explosion, has created widespread unemployment and has locked ordinary citizens out of their bank accounts.

    The price of basic products such as cereal and nappies have nearly tripled, sparking huge protests.

    Authorities have repressed the protest movement since it began in October 2019, using excessive force against demonstrators, including live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets.

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    Officials have rejected calls for an international investigation into the explosion.

    Shoukry was last in Lebanon in August 2020 after Egypt sent a plane packed with medical aid to Lebanon following the port explosion and discussed efforts to reconstruct the country.

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