Lebanon Current Affairs - 2019
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The leaders from the Arab World met in Beirut, Lebanon to discuss economic and social development. The leaders of the Arab World agreed on a 29-item economic agenda in addition to encouraging the safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland at the conclusion.
A joint statement called the Beirut Declaration was issued in the summit. The important aspects of the Declaration are:
- The declaration calls for the establishment of an Arab free trade zone.
- The declaration urged the international community to support countries hosting refugees and displaced people.
- The declaration notes that the refugee crisis in Arab countries is the worst humanitarian problem since World War II and points out that the crisis leads to an economic slowdown, increases the expenditure and deficit, imposes burdens on public sectors and infrastructure and poses risks to the society.
- Full commitment to implement the decisions that were taken and the projects adopted by previous Arab Development Summits in their successive sessions.
Arab Economic and Social Development Summit
The Arab Economic and Social Development summits are held at the level of head of state to address issues of economic and social development among member-states. Previous summits:
- 2009: Kuwait
- 2011: Egypt
- 2013: Riyadh
- 2019: Beirut
The fifth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit would be held after four years later in the year 2023 in Mauritania.
The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Shia political organisation a terrorist group. The move comes after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had adopted the same stance.
Decision in this regard was taken during the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the organisation’s seat in Egypt’s capital Cairo. All-22 Arab League members supported the decision except Lebanon and Iraq expressed reservations.
Hezbollah (Party of God) is a Shia political organisation created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s. It was established with an armed wing during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990. Currently, it is fighting in Lebanon’s neighbouring Syria to support the Government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The United States, Canada and Australia already have listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group and the European Union (EU) has also blacklisted its military wing.