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Lebanon crisis

EU urges reforms after Lebanon government confirmed

Published: Updated:

The European Union on Tuesday welcomed the confirmation of Lebanon’s new government and called on Beirut to kickstart urgent reforms needed to drag the country out of crisis.

“The announced agenda of the new government outlines important steps to address Lebanon’s multifaceted crises, including resuming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, implementing structural reforms, notably of the electricity sector, and holding the 2022 elections as scheduled,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

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“It is now time to begin the path to recovery with the credible implementation of urgent and essential reforms to address the needs and demands of the Lebanese people.”

Borrell said that “all political parties and their leaders have a responsibility to support and actively contribute to such efforts.”

On Monday, Lebanon’s parliament approved Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s new cabinet, tasked with salvaging the country from economic meltdown after 13 months of political deadlock.

The crisis has depleted central bank reserves, devalued the currency by more than 90 percent and plunged three out of four citizens below the poverty line, while those who can are emigrating by the thousands.

The EU had threatened Lebanon’s political elite with sanctions if they did not come together to form a government.

Read more: WHO director: Lebanon’s brain drain threat to health sector