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Lebanon: Hezbollah Shows Reservation Towards Cedar Conference $11 Bln Pledges

Lebanon: Hezbollah Shows Reservation Towards Cedar Conference $11 Bln Pledges

Sunday, 8 April, 2018 - 07:30
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, left, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron as they attend the Cedar (CEDRE) Conference for international donors and investors to support Lebanon's economy, in Paris, France, on April 6, 2018. Photo - Reuters

Lebanon’s Hezbollah party expressed reservation concerning the terms and conditions of pledges the international community announced for Lebanon at the Cedar Conference in Paris on Saturday.

The soft loans exceeded $ 11.5 billion.

Member of Parliament Nawaf al-Moussawi, a member of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, said that “any loan can only be passed after discussions in relevant parliamentary committees and after its adoption in the House of Representatives."

“We, along with our allies, will be keen on preventing the aggravation of public debt, worsening debt service and budget deficit.”

On the other hand, Future bloc Head Fouad Siniora said that the great success achieved at the Cedar conference will help Lebanon through local, regional and international difficulties, as well as improve its economy and address its growth problems.

Held in Paris, the Cedar Conference brought together representatives of 51 countries, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Arab and international financial organizations and bodies to support Lebanon.

France pledged to offer 550 million euros ($673 million) to Lebanon to give a boost to the country's development, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced on Friday. The pledges include $10.2 billion in loans and $860 million in grants.

Lebanese officials said the aid included $4 billion in World Bank loans, $1.35 billion in loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the renewal of a previously pledged $1 billion credit line from Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime, Shiite anti-Hezbollah politician Ali al-Amin announced on Saturday an electoral list in which he is allied with the Lebanese Forces Party in the third circle of the south in a faceoff with the Shiite duo, the Amal Movement and Hezbollah.

“We want real competition, they want preset elections,” said Amin.

“We will not repeat promises made by political parties that monopolized representation, and terrorized against any counter-candidate,” said Amin, who is the candidate for the Shiite seat in Bint Jbeil.

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