Aoun Calls for Higher Defense Council Meeting

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President Michel Aoun on Monday scheduled a Higher Defense Council meeting for Tuesday to “discuss the security situations in the country and the latest developments,” the Presidency said.

The development comes amid a severe fuel shortage crisis in the country that has led to scuffles at gas stations and road-blocking protests across the country.

The cities of Tripoli and Sidon have also witnessed clashes between protesters and security forces which resulted in injuries.

The Lebanese pound has meanwhile plumbed fresh lows on the black market due to a financial crisis that the World Bank says is likely to rank among the world’s worst since the mid-19th century.

The price of fuel is expected to rise after the government said it would fund fuel imports at a rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds to the dollar, instead of the official rate.

The move effectively reduces subsidies on fuel as the central bank tries to shore up fast-diminishing foreign currency reserves.

The financial collapse has sparked outrage at Lebanon’s political class, seen as woefully corrupt and unable to tackle the country’s many difficulties.

Lebanon has been without a fully functioning government since a massive blast in Beirut last summer that killed more than 200 people and ravaged swathes of the capital.

The government stepped down after the disaster, but efforts to agree on a new cabinet have repeatedly foundered.

SourceNaharnet

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