İrem UZUN -TDO- Lebanon named the president’s diplomatic adviser Charbel Wehbe as foreign minister after Nassif Hitti resigned from the position, saying the country risked becoming a "failed state" and the government showed a lack of reformist will.
Nassif Hitti resigned on Monday, accusing colleagues of lacking any intention to institute meaningful reforms and warning that conflicting interests threatened to turn the country into a failed state. Hitti, 67, had been in the post less than seven months, and his departure after so short a time reflects the frictions paralyzing the government.
"I participated in this government on the basis that I have one employer named Lebanon, and I found in my country many employers and conflicting interests... 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," Hitti said in his resignation letter to Prime Minister Hassan Diab, made public on Monday.
Charbel Wehbi was a diplomat for 42 years before retiring in 2017. He served as Lebanon’s ambassador to France, consul general in Los Angeles and was most recently the country’s representative to Venezuela between 2007 and 2012. In his public speech, Wehbi said he will seek good relations with all friendly countries and did not rule out official visits to Syria, which has been a contentious issue since previous governments split between opponents of Damascus and its allies. "We should be open to visit any Arab country," Wehbi said on the issue.