Lebanese PM Accuses Arab, Foreign States of Blocking Aid
Prime Minister Salim Hoss accused Arab and foreign states Wednesday of blocking aid to help Lebanon overcome its economic crisis and rebuild the south, which was freed in May from 22 years of Israeli occupation.
"Our patriotic and national policy did not please many of the decision-making states, both Arab and foreign, so they blocked the aid that we needed to salvage the situation in the south ... and end the economic crisis," he said in a press conference.
Hoss, who did not wish to identify the countries, was apparently referring to his government's policies backing Lebanese guerrillas fighting the Israeli occupation.
The government headed by Hoss has to stand down as soon as the new parliament convenes October 17.
Hoss was defeated during parliamentary elections early this month by his predecessor, billionaire Rafiq Hariri and has since called for Hariri to head the next government.
The next prime minister must be chosen by President Emile Lahoud following parliamentary consultations, whose results are binding.
Hariri was prime minister for six years, but he refused to continue after Lahoud was elected in 1998.
Lahoud and Hoss have repeatedly blamed the Hariri government for Lebanon's economic crisis, saying it squandered money and fostered corruption. The government of Hariri, a construction tycoon, launched a multi-billion-dollar program to rebuild the country from the destruction of the 1975-90 civil war.
The Hoss government was not able to rein in the fast burgeoning public debt, which is forecast, reach 25 billion dollars by the end of the year – BEIRUT (AFP)
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