US Withholding $105Mln in Military Aid for Lebanon – Reports

The United States is withholding $105 million in security assistance to Lebanon, media reported on Thursday citing two US officials.

The US State Department told Congress that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to withhold the foreign military assistance, Reuters reported, citing the two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The decision comes just two days after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation amid continuing mass protests in Lebanon.

Earlier, Hariri called on the supporters of his Future Movement party to refrain from holding demonstrations and to work together with the military and security forces. He announced his resignation late on Tuesday, which prompted a stop in the mass protests that rocked Lebanon.

Lebanese citizens took to the streets in mid-October after the government announced tax hikes on internet calls and tobacco in an attempt to salvage a deteriorating economy. Although the government quickly scrapped the plan, the demonstrations have since ballooned into widespread demands for the resignation of the government. The protests resulted in the further deterioration of the economic situation in the country.

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