Report: SA, France Affirm Willingness to ‘Back’ Lebanon
At a two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and France have expressed willingness to support crisis-hit Lebanon, the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed el-Jadaan said in remarks to reporters after the G20 meeting that Saudi Arabia is in contact with other states to coordinate any support for Lebanon on the basis of economic reform.
“Saudi Arabia was and still supports Lebanon and the Lebanese people,” he told reporters.
For his part, Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister said his country is ready to provide financial help for Lebanon. “France is always ready to help Lebanon. It has always been the case in the past, and this will be the case in the future,” he emphasized.
Lebanon's debt burden had been among the largest in the world for some time but a liquidity crunch has brought the crisis home and banks have imposed tough restrictions on dollar withdrawals.
The government in Beirut faces a $1.2 billion debt payment on Eurobonds that reach maturity on March 9.
The closing statement of the G20 meeting stressed that despite estimates of global economy growth for this year, it is still proceeding at a slow pace with risks to economic prospects, including geopolitical tensions and persistent trade amid global alarm over rising Coronavirus case.