Lebanon appeals for import aid; France to hold meeting

Lebanon said on Friday it had asked friendly states to help finance imports of essential goods, as sources said France is planning an international meeting to mobilise support for its former colony’s deep economic crisis.
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said that his office had sent an appeal for assistance in securing credit for imports of food and raw materials for manufacturing.
The appeal was sent to Saudi Arabia, France, Russia, Turkey, the United States, China, and Egypt, Hariri said in a statement.
Lebanon is grappling with the worst financial strains since its 1975-1990 civil war.
A European official meanwhile said that invitations had been sent out for the Dec. 11 meeting in Paris.
A Lebanese official said: “It is a meeting to attempt to mobilise assistance to help Lebanon deal with the acute crisis that it is facing.”
The Lebanese official said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were expected to be invited to the meeting of the International Support Group, which includes the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

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