A U.S. official is visiting Lebanon today amid “concern over the deteriorating situation.”

A U.S. official is visiting Lebanon today amid "concern over the deteriorating situation."

A U.S. official is visiting Lebanon today amid “concern over the deteriorating situation.”

Tuesday – 2 Ramadan 1442 AH – April 13, 2021 AD

David Hale, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs during a visit to Lebanon (AP)

Washington: “Asharq al-Awsat Online”

The US State Department announced yesterday (Monday) that it would send a senior official to Lebanon to express the US administration’s “concern” over the deteriorating political and social situation in the country, according to Agency France-Press.
Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, the third highest-ranking official in the Foreign Office, will arrive in Beirut from April 13-15, the ministry said in a statement.
The report added that Hill “emphasizes the deteriorating social and economic conditions across the country and the political stalemate that contributes to this deteriorating situation.”
Since the summer of 2019, Lebanon has seen an economic downturn, during which the Lebanese pound has lost more than 85 percent of its value.
In March 2020, the country failed to repay its foreign debt, estimated at billions, and then began negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over a recovery plan, which was later suspended due to disagreements between Lebanese negotiators over the extent of the losses and the implementation of the reforms.
A major explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4 caused extensive damage to the harbor and its environs, killing more than 200 and injuring more than 6,000.
“Hill will put pressure on Lebanese officials and party leaders to co-operate and form a government capable of implementing economic and administrative reforms,” ​​the ministry said in a statement.

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Alfred Lee covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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