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Laila Bassam

Exclusive: Heavily indebted Lebanon promises quick reforms - draft policy statement

06 Feb 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon is committed to launching fast and effective reforms that could be "difficult and painful" to avoid a worsening of economic, financial and social conditions, according to a draft government policy statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Building on Syria war gains, Hezbollah scores political win

01 Feb 2019

BEIRUT Hezbollah's bigger role in Lebanon's new unity government points to a growing appetite to shape state affairs and builds on unprecedented military clout the group is wielding after helping turn the tide in Syria's war.

Lebanon agrees new government, PM vows bold reforms

01 Feb 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon formed a new national unity government on Thursday, ending nine months of wrangling, and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said bold moves were needed without delay to address chronic problems facing the heavily indebted state.

Hezbollah could 'for years' enter Israel, group's leader says after tunnels found

27 Jan 2019

BEIRUT Iran-backed Hezbollah has "for years" been able to enter Israel, the Lebanese group's leader said on Saturday, responding for the first time to Israel's discovery of tunnels dug into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

Lebanon preparing public debt reform plan, assures on Eurobonds: finance minister

10 Jan 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon is studying ways to manage its public debt and its structure as part of plans for public finance reform, the finance minister told Reuters on Thursday, after he was cited saying the plan included restructuring of public debt.

Health ministry pick to widen Hezbollah role in Lebanese state

20 Dec 2018

BEIRUT Hezbollah's role in the Lebanese government stands to widen when it names the new health minister though it will not be putting a party member in the job, sources say, as the United States extends sanctions against the Shi'ite Muslim movement.

Lebanon set to get new national unity government in days - politicians

19 Dec 2018

BEIRUT Lebanon is on track to form a new national unity government in the next few days, politicians said on Tuesday, raising hopes for an end to more than seven months of wrangling that has darkened the outlook for its struggling economy.

Lebanon closer to government as economic pressures loom

29 Oct 2018

BEIRUT Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri looked closer to forming a new national unity government as a major Christian party declared on Monday it would take part despite being offered an "unjust" share of cabinet seats.

Fifty thousand Syrians returned to Syria from Lebanon this year: official

25 Sep 2018

BEIRUT Fifty thousand Syrians have returned home from Lebanon so far in 2018 and the number could reach 200,000 in a year's time if it continues at this rate, a top Lebanese official said on Tuesday.

Syrian army preparing phased Idlib assault - source

30 Aug 2018

BEIRUT Syrian government forces are preparing a phased offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib and surrounding areas, the last big rebel enclave, a source close to Damascus said on Wednesday.

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