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US Under Secretary for Political Affairs going to Lebanon on April 13: State Department

Washington: Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale will travel to Lebanon this week with the aim of “pressing” the country’s authorities to form a new government, the US State Department has announced.

“Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale will travel to Beirut April 13-15 for meetings with a full range of leaders,” the State Department said on Monday, adding that “Hale will press Lebanese officials and party leaders to come together and form a government capable of and committed to implementing economic and governance reforms so that the Lebanese people can realize their full potential.”

According to the US State Department, the Under Secretary plans to convey US concerns with the deteriorating socio-economic conditions in Lebanon, caused by the ongoing political impasse.

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is expected to hold talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on April 15 in Moscow.

Lebanon has been facing a months-long financial crisis, aggravated by the collapse of the national currency and banking system issues that have resulted in staggering inflation.

The critical financial situation is accompanied by a major political crisis, as the country’s political forces have yet been unable to reach a consensus on the composition of a new government. The coronavirus pandemic, as well as the devastating Beirut port blast and US sanctions, have contributed to the deteriorating situation in Lebanon.

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