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Lebanon’s new cabinet gains vote of confidence

BEIRUT, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The Lebanese cabinet formed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab gained on Tuesday a vote of confidence by the parliament with a majority of 63 votes, Al Jadeed local TV Channel reported.

The parliament session was attended by only 84 parliament members with 20 of them withholding their confidence from the new government and one member refrained from voting.

The parliament succeeded in convening despite violent protests which took place in Beirut’s downtown aimed at preventing parliament members from meeting and voting for the new cabinet.

The parliament voted in favor of the cabinet in hope for serious reform measures capable of saving the country’s deteriorating economy.

Diab gave an overview of the ministerial statement prepared over the past days by the new cabinet with planned reforms to overcome current economic and financial challenges facing the country.

Diab said the new cabinet will adopt an emergency plan before the end of February while working in a transparent way in cooperation with all citizens especially civil society protesters.

“We will work on restoring people’s trust and confidence by implementing serious reforms which is a long-term strategy that requires full honesty and transparency with the Lebanese people,” Diab said in his speech during the parliament session.

Diab cited several reform measures to be taken by the new cabinet, including the overhaul of the public sector, the reduction in interest rates on loans to support productive sectors, and the increase in export by offering facilities to the industry sector.

The newly appointed prime minister underscored the right of Lebanese to continue resistance against Israel and the country’s commitment to liberate Lebanese territories occupied by Israel.

Diab also vowed to strengthen relations with Arab countries and the international community in addition to several other initiatives.

Lebanon is in dire need for serious reform measures to save the deteriorating economic and financial situation amid severe shortage in U.S. dollar currency caused by a drop in foreign reserves of the central bank which has impacted both individuals and businesses.

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