Politics & Economics

Lebanon's Foreign Minister Steps Down

Middle East

Nassif Hitti becomes the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid severe economic and financial crisis striking Lebanon.

BEIRUT – Lebanon Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday, a government source said.

Hitti decided to quit over differences with the premier and frustration at being sidelined, a ministry official and sources close to him said.

Hitti became the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.

The FM 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.

Article: Middle East Online

Image: Middle East Online