Nov 08 2020 - 07:44
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Bassil rejects US sanctions as unjust and politically motivated

Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Gebran Bassil Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Politics, Lebanon, Sanctions, US,Bassil,Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Gebran Bassil
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Bassil rejects US sanctions as unjust and politically motivated
Lebanon News
Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Gebran Bassil said on Sunday that U.S. sanctions against him were unjust, politically motivated and the result of his refusal to break ties with Hezbollah.

The United States on Friday blacklisted Bassil, the leader of Lebanon's biggest Christian political bloc and the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, accusing him of corruption and ties to the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah movement that Washington deems a terrorist group.
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A target of Lebanese protests against a political elite accused of pillaging the state, Bassil denied U.S. accusations of corruption and said the issue did not come up in conversations with U.S. officials when they demanded he sever ties with Hezbollah or face sanctions.

"These sanctions are an injustice and I will fight them and sue for damages," he said in a televised speech.

Bassil, who harbors presidential ambitions has served as minister of telecoms, of energy and water and of foreign affairs.

The FPM has a political alliance with Hezbollah, which has become Lebanon's most powerful political force. Bassil says the group is vital to the defense of Lebanon.

"We do not stab any Lebanese in the back for foreign interests," he said. "We will not agree to isolating any Lebanese component, even if we pay a heavy price for that."

Bassil said the sanctions against him should not hold up forming a new government to tackle a financial meltdown, Lebanon's worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is navigating Lebanon's sectarian politics to assemble a cabinet needed to implement reforms demanded by foreign donors to tackle endemic corruption, waste and mismanagement to unlock financial aid.
 
 
 
LBCI/REUTERS
 
 
 
 
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