Lebanon economy, pound not in danger from Hariri exit

The resignation of Lebanese President Saad al-Hariri must be a wake-up call for the world about the aggressive attempts by Iran to infiltrate countries and impose its will on other countries, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement Motzoei Shabbos.

There is "no danger to the economy or pound", Khalil said.

In a pointed speech, Hariri suggested that he feared for his life and said the atmosphere in Lebanon is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, a political ally of Hariri, is locked in a bitter tussle for power across the Middle East with Shi'ite Iran and its allies, including Hezbollah.

Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016, leading a 30-member government that included Hezbollah.

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Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat cited unnamed sources close to Hariri as speculating that he would probably remain outside Lebanon because of the security threat against him.

The Hezbollah chief did not directly address the accusations levelled by what he called Hariri's "very hard" speech, saying only that these were "a matter for Saudi Arabia".

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh sought to calm fears the political turmoil would hit Lebanon's already fragile economy, issuing a statement to reaffirm the stability of its currency, which is pegged against the US dollar. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by a number of countries including the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

He added that Hariri resigned from Riyadh for security reasons.

It remains unclear who will succeed Hariri as prime minister in Lebanon. I and my government have tried to keep to a policy of non-intervention in the crises in our region, but Iran keeps trying to intervene in Lebanon's internal affairs.


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