“The army is the only and last institution that is still coherent and guarantees the security and stability in Lebanon and the region.”
By REUTERS, JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Army Commander General Joseph Aoun speaks during the offical funeral ceremony for the Lebanese soldiers who were killed in Islamic State captivity(photo credit: REUTERS)
“If the economic situation continues to deteriorate in Lebanon it will inevitably lead to the collapse of institutions, including the military establishment,” said Lebanon’s Army Chief General Joseph Aoun, according to a Tweet from Lebanon’s Army.
“The army is the only and last institution that is still coherent and guarantees the security and stability in Lebanon and the region,” said Aoun, who also said that harm to it will lead to “the spread of chaos.”
A collapse of the military will leave the country exposed, said Aoun, who asked for foreign support for the military in getting through this “delicate stage.
“We believe that we will pass this difficult and delicate stage thanks to the determination and will of our soldiers and with the support of the Lebanese people and friendly countries.”
World powers will seek to raise tens of millions of dollars in emergency aid for the Lebanese army at a meeting on Thursday, aiming to prevent the military from collapsing as the country’s economic and political crisis worsens, a French official said.
Paris, which has led aid efforts to its former colony, has sought to ramp up pressure on Lebanon’s squabbling politicians, after failed attempts to rally them to agree a new government and launch reforms to unlock foreign cash.
Discontent is brewing among Lebanon’s security forces over a currency crash that has wiped out most of the value of their salaries. To tackle that, France will host on Thursday a virtual meeting with partners including the United States, Russia, China and European powers and the Gulf Arab region.
Lebanon’s currency crashed past a milestone on Sunday reaching a new low against the dollar, as the country’s financial meltdown and political deadlock linger.
Market dealers said the Lebanese pound was trading at around 15,150 to the dollar, losing around 90% of what it was worth in late 2019, when Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis erupted.
Lebanon is in the throes of a deep economic meltdown that is threatening its stability. The World Bank has called it one of the deepest depressions of modern history.