Lebanon foreign minister resigns


Lebanon’s foreign minister Nassif Hitti has resigned from his position, saying the country is sliding towards becoming a failed state.

Hitti submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.

However, in his resignation letter made public on Monday, the veteran diplomat lamented the “absence of a vision for Lebanon… and the absence of a “real will to achieve structural reforms … which our national society asks for and the international community are calling on us to do”.

“I participated in this government on the basis that I have one employer named Lebanon, and I found in my country many employers and conflicting interests,” Hitti said.

“If they don’t come together around the interests of the Lebanese people and save them, then the ship, God forbid, will sink with everyone on board,” the letter read.

Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.

A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government.

His resignation is the biggest blow yet to Diab’s six-month-old government, which has struggled to make good on promises that it would implement wide-ranging reforms following massive anti-establishment protests last year.

It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in a caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.

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