Lebanese FM Quits, Cites ‘Absence of Vision’ in Diab Gov’t
Nassif Hitti, Lebanon’s foreign minister, has resigned, saying in a resignation letter to Prime Minister Hassan Diab made public on Monday that the country was at risk of becoming a “failed state” because it was being pulled in too many different directions. “I participated in this government on the basis of having one employer named Lebanon, and I found in my country many employers and conflicting interests,” Hitti wrote. “If they don’t come together around the interests of the Lebanese people and save them, then the ship, God forbid, will sink with everyone on board.” Lebanon faces a crushing foreign debt and deep internal discord due to a decades-old system of sectarian rule that many say fuels corruption and sectoral conflict. In his letter, the outgoing foreign minister bemoaned an “absence of a vision for Lebanon as I believe in it as a free, independent and capable nation” as well as the lack of “real will to achieve structural reforms….” Hitti is the first member of Diab’s six-month-old government to resign, although two key figures on a team negotiating terms for a loan from the International Monetary Fund quit after complaining of much the same.