US hits out at Hezbollah but still sending coronavirus aid to Lebanon

Thank you for your reading and interest in the news US hits out at Hezbollah but still sending coronavirus aid to Lebanon and now with details

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - US officials have slammed Hezbollah’s “false” claims it is trying to influence the appointment of top Lebanese banking officials, telling The National that the Iran-backed group was attempting to “distract the Lebanese people.”

The rare direct public rebuttal of the US-sanctioned group comes days after Hezbollah officials and a pro-Hezbollah media have alleged that America’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, is directly interfering in the appointment of senior officials at Banque du Liban (BDL).

Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah last week accused Ms Shea of directly “requesting” a candidate for one of the four vice-governors at the central bank, which is headed by Riad Salameh.

The terms of the four deputies expired over a year ago, and replacements were set to be appointed by ministers last week before Prime Minister Hassan Diab abruptly withdrew the item from the agenda.

Sanitation workers from Tadweer on the first day of the UAE cleaning campaign. Victor Besa / The National

A commuter enters the new sterilisation area at the entrance of the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Terminal.Victor Besa / The National

A woman and her children seen during cloudy skies in Al Furjan area in . Pawan Singh / The National

A man wearing a protective face mask crosses the foot bridge near Al Karama area in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

A man seen during the evening in Al Furjan area in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

A delivery driver wearing a face mask at downtown Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National

The view of the Burj Khalifa without any visitors in Downtown Dubai in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Boki Prekovic plays each afternoon from his balcony to keep residents stuck at home entertained. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Two men on a boat wear face masks on Dubai Creek. Chris Whiteoak / The National

A worker wearing a protective suit disinfects a globe in a public garden, in Algiers. Reuters

Muslim worshippers circumambulate the sacred Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque. Saudi Arabia extended curfew restrictions on Islam's two holiest cities. AFP

Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving from Italy on March 3. AFP

A Jordanian police officer is seen at a checkpoint on March 25. Reuters

A Jordanian health worker pictured on March 31. Reuters

People travel on an overcrowded train on the outskirts of before a curfew ordered by the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on March 26. Reuters

Palestinians gather at the beach as the sun sets over Gaza City on March 28. EPA

A member of a medical team sprays disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak at a tuk-tuk three wheel motorcycle in Shobra district in Cairo, Egypt on April 3. EPA

A Moroccan health ministry worker disinfects a man walking a dog in the capital Rabat on MArch 22. AFP

In Algiers, Algeria, a woman seen in an empty bus station. Reuters

A Tunisian Red Crescent member prepares food packages to be delivered to the elderly and needy families on March 31. EPA

Workers disinfect desks and chairs in the Lebanese Parliament in central Beirut on March 10. AFP

Travellers returning to Kuwait from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon arrive to be re-tested at a Kuwaiti health ministry containment and screening zone in Kuwait City on March 16. AFP

A worker disinfects a house in a neighbourhood in the central Iraqi holy city of Najaf on March 23. AFP

Doctors test a resident of Baghdad's suburb of Sadr City for the coronavirus on April 2. AFP

Kuwaiti policemen wearing protective masks wait at Sheikh Saad Airport in Kuwait City,b efore transferring Kuwaitis arriving from Iran to a hospital to be tested for coronavirus on February 22. AFP

Iranian sanitary workers disinfect Qom's Masumeh shrine on to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on February 25. AFP

A view of beds at a shopping mall, one of Iran's largest, which has been turned into a centre to receive patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran on April 4. Reuters

A Lebanese employee wearing a protective mask looks at a bed in a ward at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital where the first coronavirus case was admitted on Feburary 22. AFP

Medical staff in protective gears distribute information sheets to Iraqi passengers returning from Iran at Najaf International Airport on March 5. AFP

Employees of the Fatih Municipality wearing protective suits disinfect the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul on MArch 13. AFP

Sanitation workers from Tadweer spraying the pedestrian crossing on Hamdan and Fatima Bint Mubarak Street on March 27. Victor Besa / The National

Colin and his wife Hilda run a marathon on their balcony on March 28 while the City of Dubai is under a Stay At Home policy to keep residence safe from the spread of Covid-19. Antonie Robertson / The National

school buses parked outside Global Village on April 1. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The new screening drive-thru for COVID-19 at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Mr Diab said he was disappointed with the mechanism for which the candidates were brought forward, using political motives and not experience or skill. It is unclear when the appointments will be made or discussed next.

Hezbollah has been a vocal critic of the central bank’s fiscal and monetary policies, as well as the work of Mr Salameh.

Although a pro-Hezbollah Christian leader threatened to withdraw his ministers, which would also endanger the fate of Mr Diab’s cabinet, Hezbollah continues to insist that the appointments did not take place because of American influence.

An official at the US Embassy in Beirut vehemently denied these accusations.

“These false claims are yet another of its efforts to distract the Lebanese people from Hezbollah’s devotion to its own malign interests rather than the best interests of the Lebanese people,” the official told The National.

The US has expressed concern about the new Lebanese government, formed at the start of the year, as its traditional allies did not nominate ministers. Instead, the alliance of Hezbollah affiliates and allies put forward the names for Mr Diab’s administration.

But despite tensions between the US Embassy in Beirut and Hezbollah bursting out into the open that risks years of security and development assistance, Washington is pushing ahead with “humanitarian aid” to Lebanon as part of its global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country has 548 confirmed cases of the virus, 19 deaths.

Lebanon is currently experiencing its most severe economic crisis in decades and a shortage of US dollars is making it difficult to acquire necessary medical equipment.

The government has yet to implement economic reforms requested by the international community to unlock badly needed grants and loans.

The official pointed out that this was not part of an economic rescue plan for Lebanon but Washington will continue to provide humanitarian aid because it is “the right thing to do.”

The Lebanese pound has depreciated by more than 60 per cent against the dollar in a matter of months, and the country holds the third-highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world.

Beirut also defaulted on foreign currency debt for the first time last month.

To help Lebanon in its fight against the pandemic, the US will provide 2,000 rapid-response test kits later this month as well as donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Lebanese Armed Forces, the official said.

The donation of tests has not previously been announced by the US or Lebanese authorities. The Lebanese army said in March it had received 17,000 masks and 120,000 medical gloves from the US.

“US assistance, monetary and in-kind contributions, expertise, and technology have been indispensable to the global effort to combat Covid-19,” said the diplomat.

Hezbollah has also rolled out its own assistance plan for the Lebanese state to fight against the virus.

The group took journalists on a tour of predominantly Shia neighbourhoods in south Beirut last week to show off ambulances, testing centres and members from tens of thousands of members the Iran-backed party says it has deployed in the campaign to help the Health Ministry, which is run by a Hezbollah minister.

Doubling down on the “terrorist organization,” the Embassy official said, “Hezbollah’s support of terrorist and illicit activities demonstrates that it is more concerned with its own interests and those of its patron Iran, than what is best for the Lebanese people.

“The fact is that the US has remained a steadfast partner of the Lebanese people, contributing nearly $3 billion since 2006 to security and economic development programs, with a focus on education and local development.”

We believe in effective multilateralism that is focused on helping those in need, not scoring political points.”

Updated: April 7, 2020 06:17 PM

These were the details of the news US hits out at Hezbollah but still sending coronavirus aid to Lebanon for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at The National and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

PREV Sharjah Museums organizes celebrations for the 50th Union Day
NEXT ‘You couldn’t be more welcome,’ Prince William tells Afghan refugees