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Panel Finalizes Lebanese Govt. Policy Statement, Keeps ‘Resistance’ Item Unchanged

Panel Finalizes Lebanese Govt. Policy Statement, Keeps ‘Resistance’ Item Unchanged

Tuesday, 4 February, 2020 - 08:30
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab speaks at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon January 21, 2020. (Reuters)

The ministerial committee tasked with drafting the government’s policy statement completed its work on Monday, ahead of a cabinet session scheduled for Thursday, to adopt the document and send it to parliament.

In remarks following the meeting, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad said the statement included “plans for 100 days, one year and three years,” adding that there were no tax amendments, but taxing and monetary reforms.

A draft statement leaked on Monday sparked uproar, as it lacked targeted measures to address the monetary and financial crisis.

In this regard, Industry Minister Imad Hebollah stressed that the leaked document “differs from what was agreed upon today.”

Tourism and Social Affairs Minister Ramzi Msharrafiyeh revealed that some final touches were added to the draft, saying taxing and inspection measures would target those who were getting exemptions and those who were evading taxes.

According to the leaked document, the statement underlined the need for Lebanon to distance itself from external conflicts and to commit to the Arab League Charter, while adopting an independent foreign policy based on the country’s supreme interest and respect for international law to preserve its stability.

As for the clause pertaining to the resistance against Israel, the new government used the same wording that was expressed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s cabinet.

“In the conflict with the Israeli enemy, we will spare no effort and no means of resistance to liberate the remaining Lebanese territories… while emphasizing the right of the Lebanese citizens to resist the occupation and respond to its attacks,” it stated.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hassan Diab chaired a financial meeting on Monday, ahead of the panel’s discussion session, in the presence of Hebollah, Environment Minister Demianos Kattar, Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni and Economy Minister Raoul Nehmeh.

The meeting was also attended by central bank Governor Riad Salameh.

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