Lebanese PM Hariri resigns amid protests

BEIRUT

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday announced his resignation amid ongoing protests.

Speaking in a news conference, Hariri said: “I have tried all this time to find a way to listen to the voice of the people and to protect the country from security and living risks.”

He went on to say: “I do not hide that I reached a dead end to resolve the crisis.”

Hariri said that he will submit his resignation to President Michel Aoun.

The resignation comes as popular demonstrations enter their 13th day.

Mass protests erupted across Lebanon last week against plans to tax calls on Whatsapp and other messaging services. The demonstrations quickly turned into wider grievances with calls for the resignation of the Lebanese government and bringing corrupt officials to accountability.

Lebanon suffers from high unemployment, little growth and one of the highest debt ratios in the world, with a debt burden reaching $86.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to a statement by the Lebanese Ministry of Finance in May 2019.

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