US foreign policy

Reports of sanctions on Lebanon central bank chief are ‘untrue’: State Department

Salameh said he will sue Bloomberg for the report of potential US sanctions against him.

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The US State Department Friday denied reports that Washington was looking to sanction Lebanon’s central bank chief Riad Salameh.

“We have seen reports about possible sanctions of Riad Salameh. They are untrue,” a State Department spokesperson told Al Arabiya English.

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Bloomberg first reported that the US was considering sanctions against Salameh over the alleged embezzlement of public funds.

The report surprised several former and current US officials as Salameh has been seen as a key partner in enforcing US economic sanctions against clients using Lebanese banks.

Following the State Department denial, Salameh released a statement saying he would sue Bloomberg for the report.

Salameh is one of the world's longest-serving central bank governors.

A former Merrill Lynch banker, Salameh was appointed to his current role in 1993.

But he has been faced with criticism in Lebanon after the local currency tumbled to record lows and depositors became unable to access their money in Lebanese banks.

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