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The new Lebanese government issues a statement Monday to announce its objectives

The new Lebanese government said on Saturday it would begin preparing its policy statement on Monday as investors awaited their commitment to reforms aimed at boosting the economy.

The policy statement may reveal early indications that the coalition government has agreed to the bold reforms principle Prime Minister Saad Hariri said was needed.

The statement could deal with issues such as Lebanon’s relationship with Syria and the possession of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group for large arms stockpiles, something that coalition partners oppose.

“There are difficult decisions in all areas that we must take,” Hariri said at the first meeting of the cabinet since the government was formed on Thursday.

The size of the public debt exceeds the size of the economy by 50% and the annual growth rate for several years between 1 and 2%.

The agreement to form the government took nearly nine months since elections were held in May because of disagreements over the distribution of portfolios according to the strength of the electoral parties and also according to a sensitive sectarian quota system.

The cabinet set up a committee to begin preparation of the statement will meet on Monday and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the committee would present the statement within a week.

Foreign donors have pledged aid and low-interest loans to help the economy by investing in the country’s infrastructure, but donors have linked funds to reforms.

Hariri promised at the Paris conference last year that donors have made pledges to reduce the deficit as a percentage of GDP by five percent within five years. The new Lebanese government issues a statement Monday to announce its objectives
 Sa’ad Al Hariri
Sa’ad Al Hariri
 
Reuters
 Saturday, 02 February 2019 – 02:46 PM

The new Lebanese government said on Saturday it would begin preparing its policy statement on Monday as investors awaited their commitment to reforms aimed at boosting the economy.

The policy statement may reveal early indications that the coalition government has agreed to the bold reforms principle Prime Minister Saad Hariri said was needed.

The statement could deal with issues such as Lebanon’s relationship with Syria and the possession of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group for large arms stockpiles, something that coalition partners oppose.

“There are difficult decisions in all areas that we must take,” Hariri said at the first meeting of the cabinet since the government was formed on Thursday.

The size of the public debt exceeds the size of the economy by 50% and the annual growth rate for several years between 1 and 2%.

The agreement to form the government took nearly nine months since elections were held in May because of disagreements over the distribution of portfolios according to the strength of the electoral parties and also according to a sensitive sectarian quota system.

The cabinet set up a committee to begin preparation of the statement will meet on Monday and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the committee would present the statement within a week.

Foreign donors have pledged aid and low-interest loans to help the economy by investing in the country’s infrastructure, but donors have linked funds to reforms.

Hariri promised at the Paris conference last year that donors have made pledges to reduce the deficit as a proportion of GDP by 5 percent in five years.

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