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Lebanon's president pledges to revive forensic audit of central bank
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: Lebanon's President Michel Aoun speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon October 21, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERSBEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Saturday that a forensic audit of the central bank was vital to combat corruption, and that he would get it back on track after the consultancy contracted to carry it out withdrew. “Our reality today is not promising,” the president said in a televised speech to mark Independence Day, adding that Lebanon was a prisoner of corruption, political scheming and external dictations. “If we want statehood, then we must fight corruption ... and this begins by imposing the forensic financial audit,” he said, adding he would not “back off” on the issue. Saad al-Hariri, the Sunni prime minister-designate under a sectarian power-sharing agreement, is struggling to form a cabinet amid turf wars.
Persons: Michel Aoun, Dalati, Aoun, , Alvarez, Marsal, Saad al, Hariri Organizations: REUTERS, Independence Locations: Baabda, Lebanon, Handout, REUTERS BEIRUT, Beirut,
Lebanon's Bassil rejects U.S. sanctions as unjust and politically motivated
  + stars: | 2020-11-08 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.98   time to read: +2 min
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Influential Lebanese Christian politician Gebran Bassil said on Sunday that U.S. sanctions against him were unjust, politically motivated and the result of his refusal to break ties with Hezbollah. FILE PHOTO: Gebran Bassil, a Lebanese politician and head of the Free Patriotic movement, talks during an interview with Reuters in Sin-el-fil, Lebanon July 7, 2020. The U.S. Treasury Department accused Bassil of being at the “forefront of corruption in Lebanon”. The FPM has a political alliance with Hezbollah, which has become Lebanon’s most powerful political force. He said the sanctions should not hold up forming a new government to tackle a financial meltdown, Lebanon’s worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.
Persons: Gebran Bassil, Mohamed Azakir, Bassil, Lebanon’s, Michel Aoun, Washington, , ” Bassil, Aoun, Saad al, Hariri Organizations: Lebanese, Reuters, REUTERS, Christian, Hezbollah, Free Patriotic Movement, U.S . Treasury Department, U.S Locations: BEIRUT, Lebanese, Sin, fil, Lebanon, United States, U.S, Lebanon ”
Lebanon's president seeks evidence behind U.S. sanctions on son-in-law
  + stars: | 2020-11-07 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Michel Aoun said on Saturday that Lebanon would seek evidence and documents from the United States that led Washington to impose sanctions on his son-in-law Gebran Bassil, a prominent Christian politician. Aoun asked Lebanon’s caretaker foreign minister, Charbel Wehbe, to obtain evidence and documents that should be submitted to Lebanon’s judiciary “to take the necessary legal measures”, the presidency tweeted. “Sanctions have not scared me nor promises tempted me,” Bassil said in a Twitter post following the announcement. The FPM has a political alliance with Hezbollah, which has become Lebanon’s most powerful political force. A senior U.S. official said Bassil’s support for the armed group Hezbollah was “every bit of the motivation” for targeting him for sanctions.
Persons: Michel Aoun, Gebran Bassil, Bassil, Lebanon’s, Washington, Aoun, Charbel, , ” Bassil, Saad al, Hariri Organizations: Christian, Hezbollah, Washington, Free Patriotic Movement, , U.S, U.S . Treasury Department Locations: BEIRUT, Lebanon, United States, Washington, , U.S, Lebanon ”
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