Lebanon’s PM says nation faces ‘catastrophe’

Hassan Diab-

Hassan Diab-  

New Cabinet holds its first meeting

Lebanon faces a ‘catastrophe’, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Wednesday after his newly unveiled Cabinet held its first meeting to tackle the twin challenges of a tenacious protest movement and a nosediving economy.

Hassan Diab, who replaced Saad Hariri as Prime Minister, vowed to meet the demands from the street but demonstrators were unconvinced and scuffled with police overnight.

The 61-year-old academic admitted that the situation he inherited was desperate. “Today we are in a financial, economic and social dead end,” he said in remarks read by a government official after the new Cabinet’s inaugural meeting in Beirut. “We are facing a catastrophe,” he said.

Western sanctions on the Iranian-backed organisation are stacking up and economists have argued the government might struggle to secure foreign aid.

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