Qatar to launch $500-million investment in Lebanon
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Qatar to launch $500-million investment in Lebanon

Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani "said that said that Qatar will purchase Lebanese government bonds worth $500 million," the official Qatar News Agency tweeted on Monday. "Qatar has always been committed to supporting Lebanese people in light of the great challenges they face, this move stems from the profound fraternal ties between the two brotherly countries," the agency added, citing the top diplomat. Al Thani made the remarks during the two-day Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Beirut, which he attended alongside Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Doha's decision followed a meeting between the emir and Lebanese President Michel Aoun on the sidelines of the conference. The Qatari foreign minister said Doha wished stability and prosperity for the country since the region needed a Lebanon that was strong and doing well. Qatar made the announcement amid its continued regional rivalry with Saudi Arabia, which broke off its diplomatic ties with Doha in June 2017, and has long been accused by it of trying to influence Lebanon's politics. In November that year, Qatari officials reacted strongly to an incident, which saw Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri announcing his resignation after a trip to Riyadh, thus throwing Lebanon into political uncertainty. Al Thani suggested back at the time that the premier had stepped down under pressure from Riyadh. He said Lebanon was the latest target in a Saudi campaign of intimidation and stressed that the Riyadh regime was simply a “bully” that risks destabilizing peace and stability in the Middle East region. The Beirut summit ended on Monday, with the attending delegations agreeing a long list of economic priorities. The final statement also encouraged the safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. Arab states have been trying to normalize their relations with Syria, now that it has mostly emerged from years of militancy and terrorism, which some of the same Arab countries are accused of funding and fueling. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have reopened their embassies in Damascus, while others, including Kuwait and Egypt, have said they will be following suit.

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