05:43 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Lebanese demonstrators gather during a mass protest in the centre of the capital Beirut on October 18, 2019

    Pompeo Calls on Lebanese Political Leaders to Form New Government 'to the Needs of Its Citizens'

    © AFP 2019 / ANWAR AMRO
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration wants political leaders in Lebanon to rapidly create a new government in the wake of the resignation of the country’s prime minister, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

    "In light of Prime Minister [Saad] Hariri’s resignation, the United States calls on Lebanon’s political leaders to urgently facilitate the formation of a new government that can build a stable, prosperous, and secure Lebanon that is responsive to the needs of its citizens," Pompeo said on Tuesday.

    Pompeo also called on Lebanon’s army and security services to ensure the safety of protestors.

    Earlier in the day, Hariri announced the resignation of his entire cabinet on TV, following two weeks of civil unrest against the government.

    Lebanese citizens took to the streets on 17 October when the government announced tax hikes on internet calls, including Whatsapp, and tobacco in a bid to salvage a deteriorating economy. Although the government quickly scrapped the plan, the demonstrations have since ballooned into widespread demands for the resignation of the government and political reforms.

    Tags:
    U.S. Department of State, Saad Hariri, resignation, ouster, government, protests, United States, Lebanon
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