UPDATE 2 – Lebanon: Charbel Wehbe named new foreign minister

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

UPDATES WITH APPOINTMENT OF NEW FOREIGN MINISTER; CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE; EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Hassan Darwish and Yusuf Hussein

BEIRUT (AA) – The Lebanese government on Monday announced the appointment of former Ambassador Charbel Wehbe foreign minister.

Wehbe served as an adviser for incumbent President Michel Aoun following his career as a diplomat.

Earlier on Monday, the Lebanese government announced accepting Nassif Hitti's resignation.

Hitti had submitted his resignation to the prime minister, according to a government source.

The source, who works at the government headquarters in Beirut, said Nassif Hitti submitted his resignation to Hassan Diab on Monday morning.

"Lebanon today is sliding into turning into a failed state," Hitti said in a statement, adding: "I participated in the government with a perspective of working for a single employer named Lebanon, and I found in my country [many] employers and contradictory interests."

According to the government, Diab and President Michel Aoun had consultations regarding the resignation, considering the following moves.

Lebanon is witnessing the worst economic crisis in its history, coinciding with the plunge of local currency to more than half of its value besides the high rate of inflation which has pushed nearly half of the population below the poverty line.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara.

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