Hezbollah not against foreign aid under ‘reasonable conditions,’ says Nasrallah

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Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement, which has opposed foreign interference in the country's crisis-hit economy, said on Friday it could accept Beirut receiving an International Monetary Fund financial rescue package under ‘reasonable conditions’.

“Any help within reasonable conditions, there's no problem with it in principle,” the Shiite movement's chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address.

But he warned that “Lebanon must not fall under anybody’s trusteeship or hand over its financial and economic administration” to outside parties.

In a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his Shiite movement, which backs the government, refused conditions “that would make the country explode”. He said it was against raising the value-added tax (VAT), particularly for the poor.

Lebanon declared last week it could not pay debt maturities as it faces an unprecedented financial crisis that has weakened the local currency, hiked prices and fueled unrest.

Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told Reuters on Thursday that the country’s crisis plan would meet IMF recommendations and be ready in weeks. Wazni said any recourse to an IMF program must have political agreement and terms that do not cause suffering.

The heavily armed Iran-backed Hezbollah has said it rejects letting the IMF manage Lebanon’s crisis.

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