US prepared to help Lebanon if it carries out real reforms, says Pompeo

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States was prepared to support the Lebanese government if it carries out real reforms and operates in a way that is not “beholden to” the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Speaking to reporters, Pompeo said that if the Lebanese government demonstrates its willingness to take such actions the United States and the whole world would assist in getting its economy “back on its feet.”

Lebanon is grappling with an acute financial crisis seen as the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-90 civil war.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri urged Lebanon’s government, central bank and commercial banks on Wednesday to declare a “financial state of emergency” and review all steps to protect the collapsing currency.

He also said Lebanon would not get a penny from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or any donor state unless it carries out reforms, at the forefront of them accelerating an overhaul of its loss-making electricity sector.

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